March 15, 2008

The right tie for a job interview

First impressions are made within the first 15 to 20 seconds of meeting someone – way to little time to get to know the person. If a negative impression is made, it is usually an uphill battle from the beginning to change this. First impressions are formed on someone’s attire, posture, and overall appearance. The good news is that all these things are in your control and with a few tips on how to dress for your job interview a positive impression is guaranteed.

In general is is always better to slightly overdress than showing up too casual. Wearing a suit, shirt and tie shows professionalism and competence. It also shows respect to the interviewer and potential employer.

The suit.
Stay with the conservative matching two piece suit. The preferred color is dark gray, followed by a dark navy blue. Pin-striped suits should be avoided as they might be perceived as too trendy and “sleek” looking. After all we are not trying to make a fashion statement. Here is some more helpful information on how to buy a mens suit.

The shirt
A long sleeve collared dress shirt is a must. Keep it plain with a white, freshly pressed shirt. Button up the shirt all the way and tug into the plants with a belt whose color matches your shoes. Again stay conservative, a black belt with conservative black dress shoes are preferred.

The right necktie

What ties not to wear to an interview
Conversational ties, or novelty ties, such as a patriotic tie with an American flag imprinted on the silk fabric, must be avoided. They are perceived as tacky and unprofessional for business. The chance that the interviewer shares the same passion or view is too small to be worth the risk of a bad first impression.
Formal ties such as solid colored black, white and silver & gray neckties are also out of place. We are at a job interview and are not getting married or going to the opera. Lets celebrate once we have the job.
Bright pastel colored ties are especially popular in the spring and summer months of the year. Although pastel colored ties in lime green, pink and orange are fashionable, you should safe them until you have the job and are acclimated to the new working environment.

The right tie to wear for the interview.
Stay conservative with a navy blue or burgundy colored necktie. The pattern or design should also be kept simple. Diagonal ties with stripes, or ties with small geometric patterns such as squares or diamond shapes are elegant, and not to flashy or distracting. Tie your tie so that it ends at the center of your belt buckle. If you are tall, above 6’3″, and/or have a bigger neck you may need an extra long tie that is about 2-3 inches longer than the standard size. The type of the knot you choose is not as important but should match the overall conservative attire. The most common simple Four in Hand tie-knot might be the best bet.

Follow these tips for your job interview attire and the first impression will be a good one.

Good luck!