Interview attire for men used to be just a suit and tie, simple, not much thought and very easy since there were no decisions involved! The suit and tie was just the standard for men in the past, however — when it comes to dressing, men from pre-millennial generations have been finding themselves unsure of modern etiquette for interviewing attire. Seeing or hearing the phrases “relaxed dress code” or “open office environment” can be clear indicators of the corporate shift in attire, but don’t worry!
These simple tips will keep you looking your best for any interview in any work environment!
1.Understand the Company
Offices are becoming more modern and are commonly moving toward more casual “dog-friendly, bean bag chair, open layout” millennial types of environments which means the dress code can be a mixed variety. It is now common for companies to have a wide range of acceptable levels of dress for men and while it may be fine to lose the suit for an
interview, it is NOT OKAY to misunderstand how to dress for these environments.
Don’t forget you are still seeking a position and want to make a good impression. So this means no jeans and probably no polos. It is always better to air on the side of conservative if you aren’t sure about interview attire.
Research the company prior to your interview to familiarize yourself with the culture, level of dress and general attitude of the employees. One easy way to do this is to look at the company’s Instagram, but be careful not to confuse casual Friday with everyday attire.
Determine the Interview Type
Are you meeting in a coffee-shop or at the office? Is the interview one-on-one or is it a panel interview, or are you just having a discussion based meet and greet to network and discuss possibilities? These are answers you need to be able to answer in order to ensure your attire is appropriate for your interview.
Coffee shop meet and greet
A good rule to go by is to dress one level above what the everyday office attire of the company is. A well-tailored sports coat and a pair of nice slacks would be more appropriate for a casual interview than jeans and a t-shirt. Solid, striped, or patterned dress shirts work but for a casual interview, a tie isn’t necessary. Also, have clean, well-polished dress shoes in black or brown. NEVER wear sneakers.
Formal or final interview
A solid navy or gray, single-breasted suit is best for these types of interviews along with a solid color cotton or cotton blend dress shirt that buttons at the cuff. NO polyester or French cuffs. Depending on the type of company you may be able to showcase your personality by having a fun colored dress shirt or a wild patterned tie but ensure that the rest of the outfit is crisp, well-tailored, and sharp.
Seek the help of a staffing agency
The value a professional brings into any workplace is unmatched. Let our team of recruiters help with preps, tips, and finding you the perfect position.
Getting in touch with a staffing firm is an extremely good idea. The professional recruiters have a wide network and long-standing relationships that are solid so that they can best help you to find that position. Not just a job that pays, but a job where you can really excel!
If there are still lingering questions, do not be ashamed to ask the recruiter or the firm’s hiring manager for guidance. Employers are looking for professional, capable employees; don’t let appearance be a strike against you.
Josh Mangum is the Sr. Director of Corporate Strategy at Search Solution Group and works in our Charlotte headquarters. Josh is responsible for leading efforts to drive increased business by developing short and long term business strategies and executing marketing programs in alignment with the organization’s outcome-based sales approach.