Going for a job interview? Read GQ‘s failsafe guide to making a good first impression.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. A careers advice cliché, true, but no less valid for it. Especially if you are currently unemployed.
Dress for success, but not too successfully. If you give the impression that you don’t need to work then your interviewer might not be inclined to offer you any. Gold monogrammed cufflinks are more appropriate for a boardroom pow-wow or big presentation. If in doubt, dial it down a notch.
“Wear something neutral” suggests Kim Jones, menswear designer and former Dunhill Creative Director. “Nothing too flashy and nothing that makes you look as though you’re trying too hard. If you’re going into a bank wear a suit, but if you’re doing something creative, wear what you expect you’re going to wear doing the job. Start as you mean to go on.”
Go on a reconnaissance mission to the company’s office one lunchtime (but not on a Friday) and scope out what the better-dressed employees are wearing. Copy them. Make it easy for your interviewer to be able to picture you doing the job. It’s not just your face that needs to fit.
Match your socks to your trousers. Now is not the time to reveal your Wildean wit via the medium of novelty hosiery.
Unless your interview is at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, save the pocket square for after you get the job.
Your hair is one area though where you’d be wise to imitate Mad Men: short, neat and sensible. Unless you’re applying to be the new lead singer of a rock band.
Unless the job is at an undertaker’s, don’t wear a black suit. Grey and navy are much less severe and much more forgiving on most skin tones.
Wear proper, polished shoes. As GQ‘s Style Shrink recently commented of one trainer-wearing (unsuccessful) candidate, if you can’t be bothered to make a little effort in an interview, your interviewer’s assumption will be that you’ll make little effort in the job.
A white shirt always works. Wear one and you will too.