The first thing your interviewer is going to see is your shirt, so make it count. A white shirt runs the risk of being too plain, and anything too dark will generate a negative impression. A light colored shirt will communicate a positive attitude to a potential employer, and a pale blue shirt will match almost every jacket in your closet. If the interview is more casual, you might feel more secured adding a sweater, or going with a patterned shirt, but stay simple with colors and patterns. Bottoms in a more relaxed office environment, you might be able to get away with a pair of khakis, or even a nice pair of jeans, but we are not all so lucky. If you're unsure, khakis are great compromise option. Get a decent pair that looks crisp and new. Remember though, when wearing khakis or slacks, you must tuck your shirt in.
To suit the old standard, a suit can almost never go wrong; even if its too formal for the interview, your potential employer still sees you looking your best. Here are some tips for wearing a suit to a job interview:
- Never keep the suit jacket buttoned up while sitting, it's not made for it, and will make you look awkward
- Don't wear a brand new shirt, you will look and feel stiff
- Wristwatches should be worn on your off-hand
- Your shoes and belt should always match
- The metal on your body, cufflinks, belt buckle, tie-pin should be coordinated.
- A pocket square is always too formal in an interview setting
- If you are unsure of the official policy regarding tattoos and jewelry; keep them out of sight and off your body.
Lastly, always follow up, it might be the hardest part when you are in that state of uncertainty, but it keeps you in the employers mind and shows initiative; all in one quick call. These are just some general guidelines, but one of the most useful sources of information can be the hiring manager/officer. Don't be afraid to ask what kind of clothing would be appropriate for the interview, it'll save you a lot of unnecessary worry. If you're bad at keeping eye contact, try using looking at the spot just above the interviewer's eyes.
It takes a real man to accept his failure gracefully. If you don't get the job, politely ask the employer why, and if they have any advice for you. Always thank them for the opportunity and request they keep you in mind should another opening emerge.