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Men: Interview Dress Tips That Never Go out of Style

The biggest problem with interview attire today is the rise of casual workplace settings and the numbers of candidates who dress to match them. Interviews are still a place where showing respect is key. Suits are preferred by most companies, even those where the CEO wears T-shirts and jeans. In order to avoid getting caught in these and other interview faux pas, pay attention to the following tips before you get dressed for your next job interview.

Shirt, tie and shoes to match

Some men show up to entry-level interviews dressed to the nines. They go overboard, knowing they'll never be asked to wear a tie or three-piece suit if they land the position. Then they screw it all up by putting on a pair of ragged sneakers or scuffed up shoes.

The details count. Leave your hipster pants at home and give yourself a chance at getting hired before letting the company know "who you really are." This isn't a speed date;it's a job interview. There will be plenty of time to let your personality shine once you're hired.

Sticking to the time-honored traditions of landing a job, show up to an interview looking like you're applying to run the place. The adage "dress for success" is taken seriously by hiring managers who make decisions based on certain appearance-related assumptions. Namely, experts say, someone poorly dressed at an interview doesn't have the business sense to do well on the job.

Select clothing for one step above what you would expect to wear to work every day, making the minimal choice business causal. For men who aren't fashion-conscious enough to know the difference, that means khakis and dress shirts. Even then, bring along a blazer just in case.

If you'll be working in an office, aim for a suit and tie. Executive positions mean pulling out all the stops. No tails are required, but you'll want to show up looking as tailored as possible.

Scents and accessories

It's easy for the small details to intimidate you when preparing for an interview. Many men don't understand what accessories to wear or leave at home, and they aren't sure what the rules are on cologne. Are you expected to wear it? Should you avoid it? On your big day, there are four things every man should be, according to professional career counselor Gaye Weintraub:

  • Well-groomed
  • Well-dressed
  • Smelling nice
  • Smiling

That doesn't mean you drench yourself in scent. To smell nice, bathe using soap, brush your teeth and apply antiperspirant or deodorant. Take a refresher kit with you in case you start to sweat or wind up having something to eat or drink. It's best to leave fragrances for your first day of work.

Make sure you are well-groomed so that your appearance looks tidy. That means shaving. Shaving makes you look more serious. It can also make you appear younger. Even trimmed beards can give the wrong impression. As one pro put it, "Too lazy to shave = too lazy to work."

Along with being dressed in business or business casual attire, make your accessories match your look. For men, this usually limits you to a simple, stylish watch, clean business dress shoes or loafers and a wedding ring, if you have one. Surprisingly, scuffed shoes are one of the leading faux pas men make with their wardrobe. Don't make that mistake. Or any of the ones mentioned above.