"Suit up" is a catchphrase widely popularized by Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson in the CBS sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. In the show, Barney suits up to draw the ladies' attention to himself. It may sound shallow but in the real world, suiting up does make you look dapper and dashing. It works perfectly, whether you intend to impress the ladies or a prospective employer.
For some men, however, suiting up can be unnecessarily stressful. For this reason, some of you only suit up for job interviews, only for the sake of making a good first impression. After all, the first impression that you make on your potential employer will definitely create an impact, and will ultimately define your chances at standing out among others who are competing with you. How you suit up can make or break this crucial first impression. The good news is, suiting up for a job interview is not an impossible task. You can do it.
You may want to run a quick environment check on your target company first. The office receptionist is the best person to ask when it comes to a company's dress code. If you are lucky, you already know an insider from whom you could gather this information.
Some companies do promote a casual, relaxed, and no-fuss environment, in which case you might think that it is fine to show up in your sleek pants and collared shirt. It may well be so. However, keep in mind that you are just making your first step into joining the company. This means until you are officially hired, you are supposed to suit up to earn the right to relax your work attire.
The truth is, you need more than a suit to make an excellent first impression on your interviewer. Your overall presence, grooming and bearing will all contribute to giving you the edge over others vying for the same position. If you really want to get that job, you will not take any chances once you have been called for a job interview. So rock your first impression with the following tips:
- Decide on the color of suit that works best for you. If you cannot make up your mind, feel free to ask your family or friends. If you have to borrow a suit, make sure that it fits your body. Otherwise, the awkward fit could bring out an awkward mood during the interview. The suit has to look right on your skin, and you ought to be comfortable in it.
- Coordinate your colors. For this purpose, it is best for you to pick up a suit color first before getting lost in the mix and match process. If you are wearing a black suit, use a black belt and a black pair of shoes. If you look better in a tan suit, you should match it with a brown belt and a brown pair of shoes. For undershirts, choose a color that is lighter than the shade of your suit. A white undershirt is generally a safe choice. Finally, you can wear striped or patterned ties if you're wearing a solid plain shirt. If you feel like showing some artistic touch in your tie, just be conscious to not overdo it. If you are not the adventurous type when it comes to ties, just get a patterned tie that also shows the shade of your suit.
- Forget about wearing sneakers, leather shoes will give you a professional appeal. Make sure that your shoes are polished.
- Make sure that your nails are clean and free of stain, especially if you've just fixed your car!
- Shave to show a neat profile. Unkempt beard can potentially turn off your interviewer. Style your hair for aesthetics, if you must, but keep it neat.
- Skip wearing perfume. Your interviewer may be allergic to certain scents.
- As part of your overall presentation, show your attentive side. Consciously look into your interviewer's eyes especially when answering crucial questions, i.e. "Why should we hire you?"
- Wear your head over your shoulders. Show confidence and openness to new things. Research the company. Know its competition and target market. Carefully read the job posting and know how to present your qualifications for the position.
- Put on some charm. This means you can never, under any circumstances, be late for your job interview. Lack of punctuality almost automatically kills the charm off an interviewee. It easily turns off hiring managers and prospective employers. Answer questions politely and be friendly enough without being informal or inappropriate.
- Wear a smile that says you are competent, confident and ready. It is okay to be nervous, but if you practice smiling in front of a mirror, you will find that smiling could actually ease up your nerves. So when you smile, do it naturally. It has to look genuine and not forced. In the same manner, when you make a joke, it has to be really good and politically appropriate.
Once you walk into the interview room, expect to be quickly and discreetly examined from head to toe. You can wow your interviewer by coming in well-groomed but it does not end there. Go through the tips mentioned above and present yourself with confidence. Do your research, get a great ensemble, come on time, show off your brain, and exude a positive can-do attitude. You will get that job!