The job market is tight these days due to unemployment and underemployment, so when you apply for a job, you’ll want to stand out from the other candidates. One of the easiest and best ways to improve your chances of landing a job is to look like a professional at the job interview. If you’re applying for an office job or you plan to move up the corporate ladder, that means you’ll need to wear a suit, tie, and appropriate footwear and accessories. Good grooming — hair, teeth and nails– counts too. Here are some tips on how to dress to land the job you want:
Wear a suit, dress shirt and necktie
According to business attire expert John T. Molloy, a man should wear a navy suit, white shirt and red tie for a successful job interview.
Fads come and go, but a good-looking suit is always in style when it comes to interviewing for a job in the business world. If you can afford to, invest in a high quality suit like the ones made by Brooks Brothers. Otherwise, mid-range clothing retailers like JC Penney, Dillard’s or Macy’s have suits, shirts and ties at affordable prices.
Your attire should mimic that of the executive vice-presidents in the company you’re applying to. (You can often find photos of executives on the company’s website or by Googling their names.)
Your suit should be a dark color (navy is best) and the fabric should be wool, lightweight wool or a wool/polyester blend. Whatever you do, avoid wearing a 100-percent polyester suit because it will signal that you have low socio-economic status.
Be sure your suit fits properly by asking a sales clerk to take your body measurements before your purchase and, if necessary, by taking your suit to a tailor afterwards.
Make sure your suit is clean and pressed for the interview — utilize the services of a drycleaner if needed.
Wear a light color dress shirt that contrasts with your dark suit — white works best, according to Molloy. The shirt should be 100-percent cotton or a cotton/polyester blend and cleaned and pressed. If it’s a very hot day or you need to drive a long way to get to the interview, consider bringing a second shirt as a backup.
Wear a medium to dark red necktie (no bow ties) that’s high-end, meaning it’s cut across the fabric (that is, cut on the bias) and made from silk or a silk-polyester blend.
Wear quality dress shoes
In order to complete your professional look, you should wear black or dark brown leather dress Oxfords.
Accessorize for success
Your cuff links, tie bar (or tie clip) and watch speak volumes, so it pays to invest in high quality accessories. Also, make sure they match — gold cuff links + a gold tie bar + a gold watch or silver cuff links + a silver tie bar + a silver watch.