Dressing or a job interview: A guide for male job seekers

Dressing for a job interview is your 'foot-in-the-door'!
Dressing for a job interview – Male job seekers

When applying for a job, you hope to land an all important interview and once you do eventually it is only the beginning of that long process that can lead you to your dream job.

Consequently securing an interview simply means you already qualify for the job and the remaining crucial part is for you to prove to a potential employer that you are an ideal candidate for the job. The primary aspect to worry about once you have been asked to come for your big day is how to make a good first impression that will last through the interview and probably lands you a job. Hiring managers will judge you with your attire and their first impression matters. From the moment, you walk into that board room you need to reflect confidence and professionalism through your attire.

It can be a worrying moment with interview dress codes changing rapidly in recent times. It means you can easily make blunders that can prove costly. While growing up men wore a black business suits to interviews and this trend has been shifting due to vast demands of different industries. A Black suit and white shirt are not the acceptable for interviews like before. There are plenty ideas on dressing professionally to make a good lasting impression on your prospective employers.  Hiring experts argue that potential employers are always on the watch out for candidates who dress for success.

On the other side, unlike that of women, male fashion is easier to choose and match. Regardless of looking professional, you can also appear stylish and remarkable.  I know coordinating professional attire that also looks stylish can be a daunting task to those who are not familiar with it.

In essence, this article will assist you to choose correct pieces of clothing and accessories to make professional attire for various industry interviews. Apart from suits you will be select accessories that are important including their colour and texture. Eventually, you will be able to put together interview attire that looks professional and striking. You do not have to go on shopping sprees for new suits every time you have an interview. This article will help you to accessories to compliment suits, jackets and trousers you already have. However, experts recommend a tailor-made suit.

There are various industries with different dress codes.  If you have been in a particular industry and need to venture into a different one, the transition may prove to be a complex one particularly if you do not have enough information on the dress codes. Again different companies have different dress codes and if you have no idea what their dress code before the interview it is advisable that you stick to basics. You can also do a little research to ascertain their dress codes.

Casual look or too informal clothes may give the impression that you may not take the job seriously, and your attitude towards those in charge will be a casual one. Remember there is a corporate culture that prospective employees need to fit at work. The following guidelines will give you a clue on what hiring managers expect from potential employees.


Accessories are crucial for an attire to look complete. Do not think that because you are wearing a nice expensive suit you do not need small things like socks. Remember when you sit down trousers are pulled up. It is imperative that you wear socks that are long and vertically ribbed and are dark coloured. Recommended are Black and grey socks. Anything fancy won’t do. You don’t want your interviewer to spend time gazing at your socks.  Socks should cover your skin and make a good transition from trousers to shoes.


A suit is the main piece to the overall attire. Have a suit made before the big day. Tailor-made suits are excellent for interviews because they will fit you properly. There is nothing that looks ugly like an unfitting suit. The advantage of having your suit made in advance is that it is easier to get accessories and also make changes if there is a need. A three-buttons suit looks even better compared to a suit with two. Blue suit is the preferred colour for suits. It is easier to match a blue suit with various types of shirts and ties. If you do not have blue, a grey suit will give you a traditional look that is also trendy.


HR experts recommend Oxfords as the main interview shoes. Although there are various types of formal shoes, their importance varies. Shoes must be shiny and polished like your primary teacher demanded. If you do not drive, take a brush with you to dust off shoes before going into the interview room. The type of shoe you wear is crucial. Thick soled shoes are a big no as they may look like boots that are unacceptable with suits and at interviews. You need to make an effort in the shoes department. Do not be tempted to wear slip-ons.


A nice black leather belt that complements your shoes is desirable and will look great. Remember colours and quality of the belt and shoes should be the same.  Suspenders are suitable however do not make the mistake of wearing both at the same time. Do not just wear any suspenders ascertain that they are tailor made for the trousers with all their accessories like buttons.  You certainly do not want to look inferior. Please avoid belts with ornaments. A simple belt is highly recommended.


The quality of your tie speaks volume of your personality. It is advantageous to get those silky ties made from natural fabrics although they may be a bit high-priced. Pink ties are unacceptable at interviews. The colour of your tie is important. Choose colours like blue, burgundy, red or green. Patterned ties are also very beautiful.  A tie has to complement both shirt and suit


The shirt should be a good fit. A white shirt gives a wide range of suits nice good looks. Pink shirts are not acceptable for a job interview. Similarly, striped shirts look less formal and should be dumped.  Keep away from a button down shirts since they are not appropriate, straight collar shirts are more acceptable.  A shirt must be clean and ironed. Depending on the industry you aspire to enter there are certain shirts that are suitable but not necessarily acceptable in other industries. Colours of shirts are also dependent on seasons, and you need to find out which colours are more acceptable for a particular season.


The general rule is to keep jewellery to a minimum. A quality watch and a wedding ring are acceptable.   Unless you know your interviewer standpoint on jewellery, it is advisable that you avoid it at all costs. Ear piercing and nose rings are also not necessary. You make feel a little out of place without them, but their presence might just send the wrong message to your prospective employer. Some companies have policies governing the use of jewellery. It is advisable that you find out what the policy is before going to the interview. Digital, sports and excessively ornamented watches are unacceptable at interviews. A watch with a leather band is adequate.   

Dressing for different industries

Traditionalists would argue that dress codes should be formal for interviews. Unless it is stipulated before the interview for safety or other reasons, formal dress code is still of enormous importance. Creative industries, service and sporting jobs all have different dressing codes. Some of these industries are not fussy about formal clothing at interviews. However, there is still a need to look professional and respectable. It is important that even if the industry is an informal one but your job is a professional one; you need to dress formally still for interviews.  We will discuss how to dress for interviews for different jobs.

Creative industries

Dressing up in a way that shows your creative flair will boost your chances of landing that job. A dark suit is not suitable for the creative industry. Media and the art industries allow for different colour combinations. You still have to be creative in your outfit. Photojournalists, radio DJs, TV presenters, journalists, actors do not wear suits at work. The dress codes vary by industry and if you are unsure about what to wear it is important that you contact a prospective employer for tips on how to dress for such an interview.  Wearing a suit to a creative industry interview may be taking it too far. Jeans may look the perfect choice for an interview in the media and creative industries however it is not allowed. Rather wear plain trousers to interviews instead. Formal shirts are also not important, so look for cardigans, striped shirts, etc.


If you are applying for a job at management level, a more formal look will do for an interview. It is unnecessary to wear a suit to a technical job interview. It is important to dress appropriately for higher level position though. A nice collared shirt and slacks will do for this industry.  


Finance jobs are formal, and you need to look the part. A suit, proper formal shoes and a shirt will be more than appropriate. Your job is to handle and manage your employer`s money, and you have to be respectable and trustworthy. Your qualities are established with the first impression you exudes in the first 30 seconds in that interview room.


You will be the face of the company and to sell its products and services, and your new employer has to see the image of your company in you. What you wear matters as much as your excellent selling skills. Informal clothes are certainly unacceptable in this industry. The potential employer expects candidates to dress in a way a potential client will feel comfortable to buy products and services. 

Human resources

Human resource is another professional job where a suit is a must whether it is an entry level or high-level position. The look that says I am responsible and trustworthy is what is expected from a potential candidate. Take your time preparing outfits for interviews for this job. Your employer must also be able to detect that you can handle huge responsibilities and pressure that comes with the job.  


A suit is unnecessary in this industry except for those in sales or management at recent car dealerships. The rest of the pack does not need to wear any formal clothes for interviews.  However, you still have to look neat.


It is all about making good first impressions here. On this job, you also have to be in the thick of things dealing with customers and how they perceive you is vital for the employer and his business.  Depending on the level of position you are applying for a suit can be a requirement. However, not all hospitality industry positions require interview candidates to wear a suit. It is imperative to do some research pertaining to the dress codes at the company you aspire to work for before your big day there. Find out about their uniforms, and you can try imitating it at your interview. It will give your potential employer an idea of how you fit with his work force. The traditional black and white still does it, but a little creativity will give you an edge.


Trade Industry bigwigs suggest that suits are excess at trade industry interviews. They suggest “business casual” as more appropriate for this industry. Shoes as always must be polished and clean.  A nice buttoned shirt combined with a pair of Dockers in good colours will give you a respectable look. 

Irrespective of the industry you are in, it is important to make first impressions that will last you the whole interview. Always look neat and polish your shoes. Be creative, professional and impressive at all times.

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