Yes, it’s that time again. You’ve decided to make a change and go for that job you’ve always wanted. Everything is set for you to start your plan for world domination except for one final thing that stands in your way… The interview.

Now obviously, this scenario is one in which you want to impress. But while that is true, the mistake that is often made by guys is to try too hard to impress and take things a little bit too far in the sartorial department. Unfortunately, a first impression is something you can’t take back.

The important thing is to understand the basics of the interview that is taking place. More than likely, you are going to be interviewed by the person that will be a boss of some kind. So it’s important not to outshine them to show that you are humble and respectful. But while communicating this, there are still a few details you can use to show your creative flair.

The Basics

First of all, you should wear something formal to an interview regardless of what kind of job it is. It shows you understand the importance of the setting you’re in and besides, everyone looks better in a suit. Hopefully, all of you should have at least two suits to hand, preferably in medium grey and navy. If not, go out and buy them! And while you’re at it, read my articles on buying a suit that fits.

The reasons these two colour work best in a job interview is because they are very versatile, neutral and classic. You can literally pair anything with them. I wouldn’t suggest wearing a black suit to an interview because you will come across as too serious and probably just remind your boss of an undertaker.

But what to wear with your suit? Well, the beauty of a grey or navy suit is that they look great when paired with a simple white shirt and dark coloured tie combination. Just think of Cary Grant and how good he looked when he wore a navy suit, white shirt and a blue tie. It’s a simple classic look that is easy to pull off for an interview.

Alternatively, you can add a shot of colour into your outfit. Both of these suits work extremely well with a light pink, blue or grey shirt. You can then either stay tonal by picking a tie that is a darker shade of the shirt or pick a complimenting colour instead. For example, a light blue shirt will look great with a red or even a yellow tie while pink works well with blues and greens.

However, you do want to be careful that you don’t make your outfit too busy when it comes to colours. If you do want to be creative with your look, the most business-savvy way of doing this is through pattern. So why not pick a shirt that is in a stripe or even gingham print. They work fantastically with a suit and keeping the tie a solid colour as well will help anchor the pattern to the look.

You can also get creative with your suiting accessories. Why not pick up a tie bar? A pocket square gives you the chance to introduce another colour or pattern to your look without drawing too much attention to it. A formal hat like a trilby is also another great option. Just remember to take it off when you get indoors! For more ideas see my article on suit accessories.

The Alternatives

Finally, here are a few cheat options for those guys out there who hate wearing ties. If you are going to skip the neckwear, make up for it by adding an extra layer to your suit. For example, why not pull on a v-neck jumper under your suit jacket? Think of it as a much larger tie and pick a complimenting colour to your suit. A white shirt, grey jumper and navy suit combination is fool proof as is a black jumper with a grey suit.

Alternatively, if that seems a bit too much or the weather is a bit too warm out, why not go all out three-piece? A waistcoat is a great way of still looking really put together without having to wear a tie. Just make sure it is a waistcoat that is matching with the rest of your jacket, even if the colour is only slightly off it will look awful. Furthermore, leave the jacket at home! Turning up to an interview in a full three-piece suit is the definition of way too much.