Do’s and Don’ts of Interview Attire for Men

Guys, the same applies for you as it does for the ladies: You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Beyond a doubt, one time when this is CRUCIAL is when you interview for a job! Don’t underestimate the importance of professional attire. It is a MUST! Take the time to think about what you will wear. For some help, follow these do’s and don’ts:

DO dress conservatively and DO wear a well-tailored suit

Navy or grey is an appropriate color for job interviews. Have your suit pressed or dry-cleaned and ready to go at all times! Also, it is important to make sure the cuff of your pants fall slightly over your shoes – no “high waters” that show off your socks!

DON’T wear distasteful ties

Avoid ties with large prints, cartoon characters, holiday motifs or anything else that may be considered too flashy. The width of your tie should be between 2 ¾” and 3½” and should extend to your trouser belt. The size of the knot should be small (no ascots).

DO wear polished shoes

Wear well-polished, non-scuffed leather shoes in black, brown or cordovan. Your shoes should be wing-tipped or lace-up with socks that compliment your suit, either navy or grey (not white athletic ones).

DON’T forget hair, hands, and nails

Your hair should be neatly cut and styled. For guys with long hair, make sure it is neatly pulled back into a ponytail. Beards and mustaches should be neatly trimmed. Be sure to wear a good deodorant and very little or no cologne or aftershave. Make sure your nails are well manicured and hands are moisturized – no flaking, peeling, or callused hands.

For more information on professional business attire, check out this tip sheet from Career Development Services.


Guthery: A primer on natural resource science said...

I have a question regarding interview attire for men. I'm a wildlife major, graduating soon with a PhD. I'm interviewing soon with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for a job designing and implementing experiments and statistical approaches to science based wildlife research. Should I wear a sports coat and tie with tan dress pants? Should I wear my charcoal suit? I feel good in both of them. Should I ditch the tie? HELP! Thanks.

Career Coach said...

I say go with the more conservative option first. The charcoal suit and tie say that you are a professional...that they can send you out on the field or to speak to legislators. Anyone can dress down...not everyone is comfortable in a suit.