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Dressing For A Job Interview

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Image is everything, especially when you’re at a job interview. Not only potential employers take into account your qualifications, skills and references, but also the way your present yourself. Whether you’re applying to an open position as a bartender or an account executive at an advertising firm, it’s highly recommended for men everywhere to basically “dress to impress”.
There are two kinds of jobs available to the young professional: creative and conservative. Based on these two jobs, men are given a set of fashion standards; essentially, things you can get away with wearing and things you can’t during your interview. Let’s explore what potential employers expect their interviewees to be wearing on interview day.

The Conservative

What’s considered a conservative job? Conservative jobs are usually characterized as corporate or refutable jobs that emphasise financial practices rather than creative. Anything falling under law, marketing and PR firms, mortgage brokers or banking (etc.) is considered a conservative job.
What can you wear to a conservative job? You may need to stray from pastel-colored seasonal trends when it comes to dressing for this interview. Your wardrobe will need to have a heavy emphasis on darker colors. Anything that’s navy blue, gray or black is always appropriate.
Just because you’re wearing dark colors doesn’t mean your fashion needs to be bland. You can definitely spin this traditional look by adding splashes of color by contrasting your tie and shirt. You may want to consider light-colored shirts (not too much design) like blue, white or gray and spike it with a colorfully, vibrant tie. For conservative wear, silk ties are recommended. A lot of department stores don’t carry a lot of variety of silk ties, so it is recommended to buy from a store that specializes in Men’s Silk Ties.
For shoes, make sure they’re not too flashy (i.e. croc skin). You may want to stick to a classic shoe design,perhaps something with shoe laces. Be sure to shine your shoes before the interview.
One of the biggest fashion-dont’s for men in any situation (wedding or job interview) is pairing white socks and formal wear. Before going to your interview, make sure you wear dark-colored or patterned socks.

The Creative

Creative jobs are characterized as jobs that deal with the media or the arts. A few examples are careers in journalism, TV/Film writing and production or even advertising (etc.). Basically, creative jobs are positions that have a heavy emphasis on imaginative, creative processes and strategies.
Creative jobs have a less-strict dress code and really allow their employees to wear an array of different styles, but each creative job is also different. Some allow employees to wear jeans and plaid shirts, others require light colored suits without ties. Just to be safe, you may want to consider the standard creative wear for your interview.
For a suit, you may want to consider a light-colored suit, perhaps something along the lines of light-gray, light blue, white, beige or beige. If you decide to ditch the jacket and go with slacks and a formal shirt, then the color spectrum is much more available! A few color ideas for slacks are salmon and turquoise. If you decide to go jacket-less, make sure to replace it with a stylish belt, ties not necessary!
With all jobs, especially creative jobs, be sure to color coordinate. You can wear patterned and even floral printed shirts, just make sure it coordinates with your slacks. A pair of loafers go nicely with colored-slacks. Feel free to go sockless!
Dressing stylishly for either a conservative or creative job helps you stand apart from all the other candidates. Dressing accordingly will definitely help you leave a great impression.
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2 thoughts on “Dressing For A Job Interview”

  1. Well I’ve seen many people who paired their socks with their dress shirt and they looked very classy elegant even if going for light colored socks, as they looked well coordinated. It suffice you wear dress, not sport socks :). I personally prefer this look. But very good advice.

  2. All around good advice, I think. And I am typically very down on these kind of “by the book” advice columns (blue suit/striped tie). At least the author didn’t lay down a strict set of criteria that makes every interviewer look as though they dressed from an instruction sheet.
    When I worked in TV management (my dept was more corporate than artistic/creative–but not terribly stuffy) I would tend to have second thoughts about interviewees who seemed (from their dress to their resume to the interview itself) as if they were operating from a script. Obviously you want the prospect to appear (in all ways) as if they are serious about the job at hand. But I also want to see their real personality and style.
    I’ve always felt it helped me in job interviews that I wasn’t a cookie-cutter candidate. I would break a rule or two, while making it perfectly clear I was serious about and prepared for the job (And keep in mind these were for more corporate jobs in the entertainment industry/consulting.) Even for the very few positions when I interviewed and did not get an offer, I guarantee you the interviewer remembered me–for better or worse. :#)

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