The Interview: What to Wear

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I recently collaborated with the Career Development Center at SUNY Buffalo State to host their 1st Annual Professional Image Boot Camp.

This event was created to help students craft their professional image in preparation for the upcoming job fair. We discussed various areas of professionalism from how to effectively write a resume/cover letter, to how to give a proper introduction, and my area of expertise on how to dress for the interview.

Here are the tips that I provided to the guys about what to wear (and what not to wear) on their next interview:

1. Wear either a solid navy, grey, or pin-stripe suit. Leave the bold fabrics and patterns at home. Remember, fit is always the most important factor!

2. Be sure to wear clean and polished dress shoes. Some shoe styles to consider are wing tips, monk straps, lace-ups, or tassel loafers.


3. Make sure your nails are clean are trimmed, because you will be giving several hand shakes throughout the day. Most people pay close attention to hands, ESPECIALLY women.

4. Apply a subtle amount of cologne. Remember that you want to smell good but you don’t want people to smell you before you enter the room.


5. Wear a conservative tie that is simple and not distracting. Also avoid wearing skinny ties (I just hate them) and “power” ties. A wise man once told me that certain colors evoke certain emotions and for some people a “power” tie can be evoke all the wrong emotions during an interview.

6. Limit the amount of jewelry you wear. If you usually wear earrings, make sure they are small and not gaudy. Avoid wearing flashy cuff links, several necklaces and rings. However, a wedding ring or class ring is totally acceptable.

7. Wear a solid white shirt or a blue shirt mainly to keep your outfit conservative and non-distracting.


8. Always wear a watch, even if you use your phone for the time.


9. Carry a briefcase to hold your important documents such as your resume/cover letter and a notepad.

10. Avoid wearing trendy clothes especially if you’re applying for a corporate position. Instead wear something conservative in style and color.

11. Lastly, you want to be remembered for what you said during your interview and why you’re qualified for the position as opposed to what you wore (or should not have worn). That is why I think it is so important to keep your outfit conservative and professional during an interview.

Thanks for reading, and I hope my tips help you nail your next interview.

Yours Truly,

Akil McLeod
The Dapper Advisor

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