What Not to Wear: Suggestions for the Gents

by Danielle O.

Interview Attire

"Clothes make the man" and wearing the wrong outfit for an interview can dim your chances for success. Here is a list NOT to follow closely:

1. Jeans: That will surely make a statement. The wrong one. Wear a business suit, in the current style and make certain it's clean. Nothing is worse than an ill-fitting, stained suit. If you have changed your weight, or haven't worn your suit for a while, take some time to try it on before your interview. Check to see that the lapels aren't too wide and the jacket and pants fit: no bunching up or frayed hems!

2. Loud colors or a too-dark suit: Instead, choose conservative colors, preferably blues and grays.

3. Check price tags and stitching on the pockets: If you do buy a new suit, make sure these aren't visible. Pay attention to the little details.

4. Coordinate with sneakers: No. Choose black or cordovan shoes that go with everything. Keep those shoes shined. Scuffed ones look sloppy.

5. Sport white, tennis socks: short enough to leave a gap of flesh when seated. No. Substitute with longer socks that match the shoes!

6. Add a short-sleeved, patterned shirt under your suit: This is not the way to go. Long sleeves look more professional. The shirt should be plain: white is best. If you must, a very subtle stripe is ok. Don't forget to wear a belt. Try to coordinate your shoes with a same-colored belt.

7. Look like Mr. T: with lots of jewelry, especially chains. No. Lose the bling and wear only one watch and/or one ring. Especially leave off pierced earrings and, certainly, cover those tattoos.

8. Spray on lots of cologne or aftershave. Let Glade clear the air, not you. As with ladies' perfume, many people are allergic and the strong smells are a definite turn off.

9. Don't pay attention to personal grooming: especially your hair and nails. Rather, take the time to go to a good hair stylist or barber and get a haircut. Also keep hair products to a minimum: loading up on hair gel just looks nasty. Your nails need to be trimmed and neat as well.

10. Swing in the office wearing a leather jacket and carrying a backpack: Way to set the tone. Neither of these is appropriate for an interview. Carry a briefcase and make sure your resume is error-free.

11. Wear a crazy tie: Now is the time to show your individuality. Sorry, no wild patterns. Ties should be made of silk, no less than three and a quarter inches wide with a conservative pattern in either red or burgundy that blends well with your suit.

Think of the interview as you marketing yourself. Your "packaging" is all-important to make an impression. After you're hired, you can adapt to the formal or informal look of the company.

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