Clothes Make the Man. Naked People Have Little or No Influence on Society.

The above quote by Mark Twain is dead on, particularly in light of a job interview. In my duties with my last company, I seldom hired an applicant who neglected to wear clothing to an interview. Likewise, I seldom hired someone who put no thought into their outfit. 

From a hiring manager's perspective, here are some tips on what to wear that will help you impress your potential employer.

Avoid Baggy Clothing, It Makes You Look Young

Best Interview Clothing and Attire Tips

Baggy vs Slim

Hopefully the image above will get the point across, but if not, let me be clear: baggy clothing is not a good idea if you're trying to be taken seriously as a professional. Both men and women can fall for this common mistake. When dressing for an interview, don't go baggy.

Baggy clothing is comfortable, but that's about all it has going for it. First, it makes the wearer seem younger, and never in a good way. It doesn't say 'confidence' or 'experience', it says 'teenager'. Interview clothing and attire should convey confidence, experience and capability.

Baggy clothing also seems to make the outfit seem cheap. Fitted clothing makes the outfit seem customized, and therefore more expensive.

You don't necessarily have to buy slim fit outfits, but make sure to pick clothes that are the proper fit for your body type. As long as they fit, your interview clothing will say good things about you.

Color: Don't Go Overboard

Interview Clothing and Attire Tips

Bad Shirt(48042)

It's true, color is a good way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, but if done wrong, it can be very bad. 

As the title implies, you want to use color as an accent. When picking what to wear to an interview, don't avoid color, just use it sparingly. A bright, solid-color tie or pair of shoes can work very nicely and set an outfit off. Too much color and you'll become a spectacle. 

On the other end of the 'spectrum', wearing absolutely no color can be a negative thing too. I once had an interviewee come in wearing black from head to toe. I had to stifle the urge to ask them whether they were heading to a funeral afterwards. Your interview clothing should look clean, professional and positive. 

Mix and match colors or patterns at your own risk. I recommend pairing a primary color with black or white. 

Groom Yourself, Be Clean

Interview Clothing Tips

Cat Hair Shirt

A gentleman was seeking a job at my office. Despite his friendly attitude and impressive resumé, he did not receive a call back, because he was covered, head-to-toe, in cat hair. If you can't be bothered to groom properly, don't even bother showing up. 

Grooming is all about the little touches: the manicured nails, the trimmed facial hair, the use of a lint roller to remove Fluffy's affection from your jacket. 

Your interview clothing should be clean, at the very least. This seems like a no-brainer, but it's something people forget time and again. When asking yourself how to dress for an interview, think about how people dress at the place of work, and dress one step above that standard. You won't look silly, you'll look like you're the real deal. 

Things like cleanliness, when neglected, tell an employer all they need to know about your desire to be hired. 

Some Other Tips:

• Match your shoes to your outfit. Skateboard shoes don't go with suit pants, ever.

• Do clothing research. When you drop off your resumé, notice what the other staff are wearing. 

• Dress at least one step more formal than you need to be. You won't look overdressed, you'll look serious about landing the job. Dressing for an interview is all about first impressions, and you want yours to be an impressive one. 


Good Luck!