Then comes the next dilemma, what should one wear to the interview? Reams have been written on this topic, so much so that the individual finds it confusing. What should one wear and what should one not do? How is a formal interview different from a casual interview?
Let us focus on the first, a formal interview.
The importance of dressing well can never be disregarded. It is essential to make a good first impression. The manner in which one presents oneself and the outfit which is worn, speaks volumes about the professionalism, ambition and drive of the individual. One wants to look one’s best and present a competent and confident exterior, of course, but the individual should check out the company culture before zeroing on an outfit.Usually one can’t go wrong with a formal ensemble and it is better to err on the side of over dressing.
A formal outfit is a suit. Avoid off the rack suits, as these are mass produced and the fit may not be right. The quality may also not be of the desired standard.
So, the best choice would be to order a bespoke suit. This is custom made and stitched to fit like a second skin. The major plus is an exclusive look. The material is of one’s choice and in keeping with the personality. Knowing that one is well dressed brings a special feeling of confidence and assurance. Facing an interview panel is difficult and it helps knowing that one is at one’s best.
While ordering a bespoke suit, it is recommended that the fabric chosen should be natural like wool rather than a blend.
It is better to stick to conservative colors for the suit. The most appropriate colors are navy blue and charcoal grey. The preferred design is classic with lapels and buttons blending into the design and not standing out. If a black suit is chosen, then the fabric should have some self design like stripes, to lessen the severity. These are the acceptable choices. Should one decide to go for something different, be aware that it may attract attention by standing out and, perhaps, call for more questions from the interviewer, something that may not be desired.
Next is the choice of dress shirt. There is a wide variety of fabrics and colors for dress shirts. A simple rule is that the shirt should complement the suit. A formal classic white shirt can be teamed with almost all suits. Blue is also an accepted choice for dress shirts as they go well with navy blue and grey. The choice of collar would depend on the face of the individual. A spread collar suits a thin and long face and a classic point collar is for a round face.
An appropriate choice is a cuff with one or two buttons. Cufflinks, if used, should be unostentatious and in good taste.
While choosing a tie, again keep in mind that it should complement the ensemble. A conservative, classic design is recommended, preferably with a simple or no pattern. The suggested colors are navy blue, burgundy, black or green. A silk tie presents an exclusive look and is highly recommended, even if it is more expensive than synthetic ties. At such times, a Half-Windsor knot is a safe bet.
A pair of formal leather shoes is essential and these should be well polished and gleaming. The ideal choice is a pair of black round-toes shoes known as Oxfords. These are an intrinsic part of every man’s wardrobe. Socks should be dark in color and in keeping with the outfit.
Belts should be of leather with a simple buckle and match the color of the suit. They should preferably be the same quality of leather as the shoes.
It is also important to get the other factors in place too. Basic hygiene has to be observed, body odour is undesirable. A small feature like unkempt nails reflects an individual’s carelessness and untidiness. An unshaven appearance will work against the individual and so, a neatly trimmed beard andmoustache are desired. The hair should be well brushed and presentable. Unruly locks all over the place are not recommended at this point. Keep the colognes and after shaves to a minimum as a strong fragrance can be off putting for most. Flashy jewellery and accessories are to be avoided for that day.
Getting everything in place may seem formidable, but keep in mind, the high stakes. These, alone, will propel one forward. Get your act together, the ensemble in order and forge ahead on a new path and an exciting journey.
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