How to Dress for an Interview

Why do you come to our website to learn how to tie a tie? Often it is because you have to go to a job interview. In this article, we will provide you some advice on how to dress for an interview, with the focus on the tie.


The Importance of Understanding What to Wear on an Interview

Understanding what to wear on an interview is important to your success. The first impression of the interviewer on you can have a deep influence on his/her final hiring decision. If you dress casually, the interviewer may think that you do not take the job interview seriously and are not eager to get the job.

In some business fields where you have to get in touch with clients or customers frequently, your appearance will be more important since it will have an impact on the clients' or customers' impression on the company you are in. Wearing appropriate attire in job interviews can demonstrate that you understand the nature of the business and you are familiar with the dress code of that field, thus increase your chance in getting the job.

Spend some time to find out the culture of the organization before going to the job interview. For example, visit the organization's website, read its brochures or look at what its employees wear. In general, business fields such as accounting, banking, consulting and law require more formal attire, whereas creative industries like advertising and technology are more flexible concerning the attire.

Sometimes you may notice that the employees of a company dress casually in the office. Note that, unless the company states explicitly, you should still dress formally to the job interview.

Some general advice on how to dress for an interview is provided below, beginning with the tie. Note that there is no single job interview attire that fits all situations. So, you may need to make some changes on your own based on the actual situation.


Job Interview Attire -- the Tie

The tie is a standard component of men's job interview attire. The rule for choosing the right tie to an interview is simple -- Find one with a conservative look. Ties with fancy patterns should be avoided. Here are the details:


Tie Knot

  • The four most commonly used tie knots are the four-in-hand knot, the half-Windsor knot, the Windsor knot and the Pratt knot. All of them are suitable to wear to job interviews.

  • However, a larger and more symmetric tie knot is preferred. A larger tie knot can give you a more confident look while a symmetric one looks elegant. As the four-in-hand is a small and asymmetric tie knot, it is less preferred.

  • Choose a tie knot that fits the collar opening of the shirt. For example, a small tie knot like the four-in-hand suits shirts with a narrow collar opening, while a large tie knot like the Windsor suits shirts with a wide collar opening.

  • Practise tying a tie beforehand, especially for more complicated tie knots like the Windsor.

  • Regarding the ideal length of your tie, the tip of the wider end should be at the same level as the bottom of your belt buckle.


Tie Color and Pattern

  • Tie color and pattern should be conservative and non-distracting.

  • Ties with dark colors are preferred. For example, dark blue and dark red.

  • Ties with solid colors or subtle patterns such as stripes and dots are preferred. Stay away from fashion extremes such as ties with pictures.


Tie Fabric

  • Choose a silk tie or silk blend tie.


Tie Accessories

  • Tie accessories like tie bars and tie clips might be worn to keep the tie in place. However, you should make sure that its color and shape are conservative and non-distracting. For example, a rectangular tie bar is more appropriate than a pen-shape one.


Job Interview Attire -- Other Aspects

The tie is an important part of your job interview attire. However, paying attention to the tie only is not enough. To obtain an excellent overall appearance, you have to pay attention to other aspects as well. Here is our advice on how to dress for a job interview:


Suit

  • Wear a suit with conventional colors like navy and charcoal gray. A black suit looks too formal and is less appropriate for job interviews.

  • A suit made of wool or wool blend is preferred.


Shirt

  • Wear a shirt that is in white or pale blue color to job interviews.

  • The sleeves of the suit jacket should not cover that of the shirt completely. About half an inch of the shirt's sleeves should be seen.


Belt

  • The belt should be in a dark color. For example, black.

  • The belt should match the color of the shoes.


Shoes

  • Wear conservative shoes in a dark color, such as black or brown, to job interviews.

  • Lace-up shoes are recommended.

  • The shoes should be polished.


Socks

  • Wear dark color socks to job interviews. White socks are not appropriate.

  • Make sure your socks are long enough so that your skin will not be seen if you sit down.


Briefcase

  • Take a briefcase with you to hold items such as pens (you may need to fill in forms), a few pieces of blank paper, your resume, transcripts and certificates.

  • Avoid taking backpacks to job interviews.


Hair

  • Your hair should be clean and neat.

  • Your hairstyle should be simple and conservative.

  • Short hair is preferred.


Mustache and Beard

  • If possible, shave off your mustache and beard before going to job interviews.

  • If you do not shave them off, make sure they are well groomed and look neat.


Fingernails

  • Fingernails must be neatly trimmed.

  • Always keep your fingernails clean.


Cologne

  • Minimize its use or do not use it at all.


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Today is Monday, November 24, 2014