Your Career Gear

Dress For Success

Main Dress For Success Page

Guidelines for Men

BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL

  • Suit. For the interview, men should wear a matching suit and tie.
    • College students on a budget may not own a suit, so we recommend putting together the best outfit you can with what you already own. Perhaps a friend or roommate of similar size owns a suit or tie that can be borrowed.
    • In some instances, a matching tie and button-down shirt will suffice. Button only the top button of your suit jacket; remember to unbutton this button upon taking a seat.
    • To avoid wrinkles in the suit jacket, take it off while driving /riding in a car on the way to the interview, put it on a hanger and hook in your car.
    • Laying your suit jacket on the floorboard or seat could result in unwanted lint and hair.
    • If your suit is dirty or wrinkled, plan to take it to the dry cleaners the week before the interview - not the day before the interview.
    • In general, darker suit colors should be worn for more formal occasions. Dark gray, black, brown, or navy suits are appropriate for interviews.
    • If you are wearing your suit for the first time, remember to remove the tag on the sleeve and cut the tie between the flaps on the back of the suit jacket.
  • Tie. The right tie will compliment your shirt/suit combination in color and length.
    • Avoid ties with distracting pictures, designs, or words, and make sure that the tip of the tie just meets the top of your belt buckle.
    • Bowties can also be appropriate.
  • Shoes and belt. Wear preferably black or brown shoes that match the black or brown belt depending on your suit color.
    • Wear brown/burgundy with khaki, brown, or navy suits, and wear black with black and gray suits.
    • Lace-up or slip-on shoes are both good choices. Athletic shoes and sandals/flip flops are not good ideas.
    • Wear dress socks that match each other and the suit/outfit and extend high enough to avoid showing skin when seated. Avoid white socks; wear blue, brown, or black depending on the color of the pants.
  • Shirt. Blue or white full length button-down collared shirts are the most common choice for interview attire.
    • Avoid short-sleeved or golf shirts especially when wearing a suit.
    • Remember to iron or have the shirt ironed prior to the interview. Wrinkles give the impression that the interview candidate is unorganized and disinterested.
  • Pants. Wear pants that break at the top of the shoe when standing.
    • Pants should fit snugly at the waist and be ironed flat or dry cleaned if applicable.
    • Read the tag for cleaning/care instructions.
  • Jewelry and Accessories. When considering jewelry for men, remember to keep your decisions conservative.
    • A nice wristwatch (not a sports watch) is an appropriate compliment to interview attire.
    • Avoid wearing earrings and showing other facial/body piercings.
    • Although cowbells are now legal at the football stadium, please refrain from bringing them with you during the interview.
    • Avoid resting sunglasses on your head or leaving them hanging from your neck.
  • Portfolio. A portfolio adds professionalism to your outfit during the interview. It is also a great place to store a writing utensil, questions for the employer, and extra copies of your resume.
    • Bring a dark colored leather briefcase or portfolio.
    • Avoid manila envelopes and three-pronged folders.

BUSINESS CASUAL

  • Wear business casual attire only when stated; otherwise, assume that business professional is the standard.
  • Business casual is considered a step down from interview attire in professionalism.
  • Consider wearing a full length button-down collared shirt with no tie or a short sleeved golf shirt. Leave the collar down, and unbutton the top button only.
  • Ironed dress pants or slacks can be worn with dress shoes (no sandals or athletic shoes).

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Fingernails. Keep fingernails well manicured, clean, and short. Avoid paint or polish.
  • Hair. Consider going for a hair cut one week to one day before the interview depending on how quickly your hair grows.
    • Keep hair neat and clean for the interview day.
    • Refrain from dying your hair, and maintain hair at a conservative length.
    • Avoid leaving sunglasses on top of your head during the interview.
    • Do not wear a hat.
  • Showering. For some this is automatic. Please take a shower before you go to the interview.
  • Shaving. Men who do not already wear a beard or goatee need to be cleanly shaven on the day of the interview.
    • If you do wear facial hair, make sure that it is neat, clean, and trimmed.
    • Trim unwanted eyebrow and nose hairs.
  • Oral Hygiene. Use mouthwash to ensure fresh breath.
    • Do not chew gum or mints during the interview.
    • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco prior to the interview.
  • Cologne. Wear little or no cologne to the interview. Too much cologne can easily distract the employer and prevent you from making a good impression.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Lint. Use a lint roller to remove hair and lent from your clothes. Be aware of any lint or pet hair you could attract from your car seat or other pieces of furniture before the interview.
  • Stains. Ensure that all clothing is absent of stains and unwanted holes. Inspect your outfit in the mirror before you leave for the interview.

Most importantly, give the employer the impression that you made a significant effort to present yourself professionally for the interview. The most expensive wardrobe will not gain any respect if not worn properly; do the best with what you have!