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View Poll Results: Men's interview attire: suit and tie versus jacket and tie
Definitely wear the suit and tie. 21 63.64%
It doesn't matter. There isn't enough of a difference if the jacket, pants and tie are nice. 12 36.36%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:03 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,424,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I'm curious if you all think there is much of a difference for an interview between wearing a suit and tie (matching material) versus wearing a nice jacket, dress pants and tie (not identical material). For the sake of this mental experiment, assume that the pants and jacket are a similar color. Also, assume that the normal office dress is slacks and a button-down shirt (i.e. typical business casual).

I've read two rules of thumb for interviews: always suit and tie or dress above what you would normally wear. Very few offices in the US wear suits anymore. Heck, very few wear ties on a daily basis anymore. That being the case, is there a pronounced difference between a candidate that wears a formal suit versus on that wears a nice jacket/pants combo with a tie?
I would always go with a suit and tie (I have personally never gone for a post-college interview without wearing a suit and tie). That being said, looking like you are presentable and take pride in your appearance is more important than the physical pieces of clothing you wear. If the option was (for whatever reason) a worn-down, poorly fitting suit with a tie or a nicely tailored, freshly pressed and jacket and pants, I would say to go with the second option. Don't wear a neon pink tie with pictures of cartoon characters on it just because it is your only tie
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,494 posts, read 62,152,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I'm curious if you all think there is much of a difference for an interview between...
The common wisdom is to dress one notch ABOVE the day to day standard of the position.

Showing an example of what the applicant owns and has available when nicer is warranted...
a degree of respect for the person you're meeting, for the process as a whole and that you're
prepared to fill the next job on the advancement ladder.

The key is knowing what the day to day standard might be in THAT particular office.
If it's all new to you... find out.

As an example... a construction worker would wear his newest boots (clean and oiled), chinos
and long sleeve work shirt with collar vs the worn jeans dirty boots and Tee shirt of every day.

Follow?
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,307 posts, read 11,221,301 times
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I've always thought a suit was the way to go, but I read recently someone suggesting that you stay closer to the culture of the employer in your choice of attire. I still would lean toward a suit.

If you're not wearing a suit, you should not try to wear trousers and jacket that are close to the same color: they won't match and it will always look bad. Wear colors that go, not match. Like khakis and a navy blazer, gray trousers and a gray tweed jacket, gray trousers and a navy blazer. Like that.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:15 AM
 
1,728 posts, read 3,045,881 times
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you can also project that you're heavily engaged in your current work and just making time for this interview. Depends really on the job. In my line of work being *interviewed* is actually quite insulting
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,938,981 times
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I donít mean to be a fashion snob, but if youíre going to wear a blazer and trousers, they should be contrasting, not ďsimilar in color.Ē And, unless you really know what youíre doing, the jacket should be darker than the trousers.

If you want something similar in color, wear a suit.

There are certain industries where you absolutely must wear a suit: banking, law, insurance, accounting, etc. Others are more flexible.

For interviews, I suggest wearing the nicest version of what you would normally wear to work. If youíre unaccustomed to wearing a suit, youíre going to be uncomfortable (and maybe self conscious) and it will come across in the interview. You certainly donít want to look like youíre going to the funeral of a distant relative in borrowed clothes.

Other tips: get a good haircut, trim your nails, polish your shoes, etc. Those are the details that communicate a personís habits. Anyone can buy a suit.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,279 posts, read 3,926,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarksvillemom View Post
I work where every day is casual day. But when someone comes in for an interview and is not dressed in a full suit and tie , we all talk about it. Suit and tie for interviews no matter what, I guess unless you're interviewing at a really offbeat place where they would see you as a square
My workplace isn't offbeat... but when someone shows up for an interview in a suit and tie (or if female, the feminine equivalent), we definitely talk about it. The general consensus is "not a good fit with the corporate culture.)

Unless you're looking at a very traditional/formal/conservative industry, I think it's better to dress a step or two above the office 'dress code' norms.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:33 AM
 
8,199 posts, read 6,127,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
I don’t mean to be a fashion snob, but if you’re going to wear a blazer and trousers, they should be contrasting, not “similar in color.” And, unless you really know what you’re doing, the jacket should be darker than the trousers.
That's interesting. I have heard some people say that there is too much contract between khaki pants and a navy blue blazer, whereas pants might work better with a navy blazer since there is less contrast. Is this incorrect? I could see where trying to match one shade of navy pants with a slightly different shade of blazer would be problematic.

Last edited by War Beagle; 07-08-2013 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,405,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
That's interesting. I have heard some people say that there is too much contract between khaki pants and a navy blue blazer, whereas black or gray pants might work better with a navy blazer since there is less contrast. Is this incorrect? I could see where trying to match one shade of navy pants with a slightly different shade of blazer would be problematic.
Contrast is ok if you're a tall guy. If you're short, contrast will make you look shorter.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:54 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,938,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
That's interesting. I have heard some people say that there is too much contract between khaki pants and a navy blue blazer, whereas pants might work better with a navy blazer since there is less contrast. Is this incorrect? I could see where trying to match one shade of navy pants with a slightly different shade of blazer would be problematic.
You donít want it to look like something cobbled together into a fake suit. There has to be some contrast, otherwise it looks like a mistake.

I would suggest grey trousers rather than khaki.

Men's Sport Coats, Blazers & Vests by Brooks Brothers
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
27,312 posts, read 15,776,861 times
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I would say that the weather should come into play. If it is 100+ degrees out, employers should understand that it may not be appropriate for job candidates to wear full suits.
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