What to wear – The job interview

So you have quit your job and are looking for a new one. You applied for several jobs and you are invited for a job interview. You have all the right words for the interview, but… what are you going to wear?

Obviously, walking into an accountancy firm office wearing sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt with some kind of band name on it aren’t getting you the job you applied for. But neither does wearing oxfords and a three piece suit accompanied by a regimental tie get you a job as a gardener. It is important to dress up as if you could show up in these clothes each and every day.

Chinos vs dress pants

Chinos are normally made of a soft cotton which both looks and feels good. They are less formal than dress pants, but more formal than jeans. Here at Parler d’Expresso we advise you to never wear jeans to a job interview when you are applying for an office job.  Chinos can be worn with blazers over a nice shirt.

When you have applied for a job at either a bank, an investment firm, a lawyer or any other businesses you might invest in a three piece suit. Scout the company of which you are applying for a job and look around what the employees are wearing. Based on these findings you can decide to go three, or two piece.

For most office jobs you might want to wear a two piece suit to the job interview. When opting for a suit, the safest choices are to keep it as conservative as possible. This means choosing either a navy blue of a grey. The jacket should have either two or three buttons.

Though, when you are applying for a job in the more creative area, I would advise to leave your suit at home. In this case I would advise wearing chinos in either grey or a sandy color. Wearing a suit to a job in this area would be too overdressed and will most likely not land you the job.

But you’re not just wearing pants are you? Let’s have a look into other garment you will be wearing.

The shirt

Obviously I am not talking about an awesome band shirt here. Sure, wearing a Coldplay shirt will get you compliments on your music preferences, but that is not what you are looking for. You are aiming to land the job.

For the shirt goes the same as for the suit, keep it conservatives. The best choice here are either a white, or a light blue dress shirt.  Stay away from patterns as much as you can here, you get to experiment with that as soon as you have landed the job and you have figured out what can and cannot be worn at the company.

Now we’re nearly done. You’re still walking bare foot, wearing either a suit or chinos with a nice dress shirt. I’m pretty sure you’re not getting into the building like that 😉

Socks and shoes

The socks are pretty easy to pick, as they should actually be as close to the color of your pants as possible. So with grey chinos, try to find grey socks to match. When wearing a navy suit, find  a navy pair of socks to accompany the suit.

Try to stick to a conservative pair of dress shoes. Black or dark brown should be the color of your choice. Though make sure not to wear brown shoes with black pants!  Try to find a pair of nice black or dark brown derby shoes with a matching belt to keep those pants up.

But what do I know?

I wore sand colored chinos with a light blue shirt, black socks and black derby shoes to a job interview, which led me to a second interview to discuss salaries and such. The job I applied for was as an IT engineer in an IT services company.

For this second interview I had already seen the company from the inside, giving me an idea of what to wear at the actual job: Sneakers, jeans and a plain v-neck t-shirt. Now that is absolutely far from my thing, so I decided to follow my intuition and go a bit overboard.
I actually rocked sand colored chinos with a light blue shirt, navy polka dot socks and brown wingtip shoes during my second interview, of which I am still awaiting whether I got the job or not.

Now how is that for an experiment? To be continued…

~ Freddy

Follow up: Here’s more about the job interview and how it turned out…


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