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A tie has always been an essential part of the traditional business attire and office workwear, and it is especially crucial if you’re heading to an interview. You might dislike ties because they’re uncomfortable and generally prefer to be without them. With the smart casual look becoming more popular among work spaces, you are probably wondering if it’s even worth it to invest in a small collection of ties.
Since you’re considering wearing a tie, it probably means you’re putting thought into your interview outfit to give a good first impression. You are probably aware of how a tie adds value. And you’re on the right track.
Despite the changing trends, ties are still more important than you think. When you’re preparing for your interview, you might want to go with your gut feeling and wear a tie.
Proper Dressing During an Interview
Picking out what to wear for an interview is an important part of your preparation process. Not only do employers listen to the answers you give to their questions, your appearance plays a big part in first impressions too. Your prospective employer is already forming an opinion of you as soon as you walk into the room.
Since you have taken the time to prepare for interview questions, you should put the same effort in selecting your outfit. It only takes a few minutes to decide what you will wear, and if done right, it will play in your favor.
Dressing Properly Reflects Your Work Ethic
Professionalism is one of the key factors the employer is evaluating when you enter the interview room. Your interview is essentially the very first step of your job.
Dressing properly not only shows how much effort you put into presenting yourself, but it’s also a sign of how much effort you’re willing to put into your own work.
Your Interview Tests If You Understand the Company Culture
Dressing properly also shows that you did your research on the company culture.
If you’re applying to work in the finance sector, a formal business attire is most likely the norm, unless the company website suggests otherwise.
Dressing according to the company culture indicates whether you are the right fit for the company and if you will be able to mingle with the team.
A Confidence Boost
This is a crucial point both for you and for your employer. Not only will dressing properly provide you with confidence while you answer questions, but it will also show your potential employer that you’re confident and can dress yourself well. Even if you’re only doing a phone interview, changing your outfit will provide you with that boost you’re looking for.
It’s awkward if you wear a tie to a casual tech job, but it’s perfectly fine if you’re interviewing for a more formal office job. Dressing well shows that you have paid attention to the industry and that you have a good understanding of the professional norms that are associated with your industry.
More Importantly, It’s All About Respect
An interview takes the time out of your employer’s work. Managers and team leaders have a packed schedule and carve out time out of their day to participate in interviews.
Good preparation shows that you’re serious about this opportunity and not there to waste their time.
Should I Wear a Tie?
Depending on the job, you might consider wearing a tie to your job interview. There are cases in which you are less likely to need to wear a tie, but it’s better to be safe.
White-Collar Worker Versus a Designer
If you’re applying for a government or bank job, then the answer is yes. If you don’t wear a tie, the employer will take you less seriously and may have already moved on.
If you’re seeking to work in the design industry, then probably not.
Your first instinct would be to ditch the tie because the design industry is more likely to prefer a more laid back attire. However, those who work in this sector have a very good eye for presentation.
You may think that a tie doesn’t make much difference, but you would be surprised at how much it can complete your look and give off a better impression.
Here are additional things to consider:
Think about your goals
You have to keep in mind what your goal is during the interview. That is, to impress the employer, stand out from other candidates and ultimately get the job.
Use your own judgement
Use your judgement according to your research of the company.
If you’re still not sure if wearing a tie is relevant for the position, then the best decision is to wear one. It’s better to be on the safe side than making an avoidable mistake.
At the end of the day, you want to put your best foot forward during the interview. A tie is never a bad idea if you want to leave your interview without regrets.
Why Should I Wear A Tie?
As mentioned, the last thing you want to do is look unprofessional during your interview. Not only do you want to give off a good first impression to the employer, but you also want to show that you’re a good candidate to represent the company. You want to exude confidence and show that you are able to deal with partners or clients in a way that maintains the company image.
Here are more reasons why you should wear a tie.
A Tie Adds a Splash of Color to Your Outfit
The colors that you choose for your outfit make a difference in how the employer perceives you. There is a psychological element as certain colors look more appealing than others. Think about how the color of your tie may look as you try to coordinate it with your dress shirt.
For example, neutral colors like navy blue can never go wrong. Red may come off too strong if you’re applying to an office job, but it could be the right choice if you’re aiming to impress the graphic design lead at a media company.
Professionalism Should Be Your Number One Priority
A lot of work goes into preparing for an interview. You have to research the company and the position you’re applying for to understand what they’re looking for in a candidate. You also need to prepare for both predictable and unexpected interview questions.
All this preparation is for you to show that you’re professional and a good candidate. Looking the part is part of the process to convince the employer that you’re taking this opportunity seriously.
Convenience of Simple Dress
The advantage of wearing a tie to a job interview is that you can ditch the jacket. The tie itself is a symbol of professionalism, and you can avoid wearing heavier clothes during the summer time.
It only takes a simple accessory to make an impression.
Err on the Side of Caution
If you’re really unsure if your industry or the interview calls for a tie, then it’s always better to err on the side of caution. You can’t go wrong with the effort of looking professional. Unless you have been specifically told to avoid a tie, do go with a tie if you’re ever unsure.
Best Ties for an Interview
Ties come in different shapes, colors and patterns. They don’t necessarily need to be neutral. They’re an accessory that you can dress up or dress down depending on the type of opportunity you are applying to.
Here is a list of characteristics that you need to consider before choosing the appropriate tie for you.
You have many shapes to choose from depending on your body type and the outfit choice.
Longer Versus Shorter Ties
Wear a longer tie if you consider yourself tall and have a heavier build. It matches your stature and will be more noticeable than if you wear a shorter tie.
A shorter tie is suitable if you are smaller in size and on the thinner side. Your outfit needs to be balanced, so a longer tie will do more harm than good as it will take over your outfit
Wider Versus Slim Ties
Generally, skinny ties look more stylish and professional, but it never hurts to try on different sizes to see which one is the best fit for you.
Wider ties look better if you have a broader build, and slim ties are best if you’re on the skinnier side. The size has to be proportional to your body but also be coordinated with the look you’re going for.
There are a ton of colors to choose from when you go tie shopping, to the point where it can be overwhelming.
Consider the following options to choose an appropriate color for your outfit, skin complexion, and of course, for the perfect interview.
Never go wrong with classic navy blue
A navy blue tie is the most common and elegant choice that never goes wrong.
A blue tie is soft on the eyes and elicits a feeling of trustworthiness and sincerity. It’s an excellent option if you’re going for a simple yet classy look especially if you are new to the industry.
Neutral Grey Works Too
Grey ties look great if you’re looking to pair it with lighter suits and dress shirts.
Brown Is a Good but Dull Choice
Brown is another common color. On the one hand, it looks plain. On the other hand, it gives the impression of reliablility and trustworthiness.
Burgundy Red Over a Fiery Red
A burgundy red tie looks much less arrogant than a crimson red tie. If you want to stand out with confidence, then a burgundy red is the right choice for you.
To complete the look, pair it with a black, grey or a navy blue suit for the red to pop without seeming overbearing.
Yellow Shows Your Creative Side
Yellows ties are definitely out there and not the best choice if you’re applying to a white-collar job.
However, if you are looking to get into the design and media sector, a yellow tie will show your confidence, personality, and more than anything, that you’re not afraid to take calculated risks.
Pair your yellow tie with a grey or navy blue suit to tone it down, yet make an appearance.
Don’t want your tie to be the entire focus of your outfit? If you don’t want your tie to stand out too much, go for earthy tones that are easy on the eye. Earthy tones like beige, sand colors are great at just blending in with the rest of your outfit; they help your tie add a touch of sophistication without being a distraction.
Patterns look good especially if you want to get more creative, but be careful to not be distracting.
Stripes Are the More Traditional Options
Thick slant stripes are the best option if you’re looking to touch up a neutral outfit, especially for a corporate job interview.
Avoid thin stripes. They look unprofessional and take the attention away from you.
Checkered Tie for a Little Style
There are two choices: small checks and large checks.
Smaller checks are great for ties with two contrasting colors. Larger checks are classier and look best when they are composed of the same color but in two different shades.
You Can Try Non-Traditional Patterns but Be Careful
Floral, paisley or personalized patterns are great if you already got the job, but not recommended if you’re going for your first interview.
If you feel it’s an appropriate choice for the company, then go for it but be strategic about it. It’s not a bad idea to have one in your tie collection in case you need it for an occasion.
Tips for Choosing The Right Tie
Finally, follow these three tips to find the right tie for your interview.
A Color That Fits Your Outfit and the Company
If the company has a more serious tone, don’t try to get too creative and pick something more neutral. Go for brighter colors if you are applying to a more creative company, but balance it out with the rest of your suit and your dress shirt.
Choose Patterns Even for a Conservative Environment, but Be Smart About It
Stripes are the more classic choice if you’re considering a tie with patterns.
Your tie is the first thing the employer will see so keep it classy unless the environment permits you to get a little more creative.
Choose a Tie With the Proper Size for Your Build
If you’re going for a longer tie, make sure to choose one that rests above your belt. Similarly, don’t choose a tie that is too skinny, too short or too large compared to your size.
You want your outfit to look neat and professional to pull off the best first impression you can give and have a successful interview.
What About Your Dress Shirt?
Your dress shirt plays a big part in your interview outfit too. When it comes to dress shirts for an interview, go for solid colors instead of loud patterns that will end up becoming distracting. Whites and blues are pretty standard for professional-looking colors that go well with anything.
Also choose a dress shirt with a collar instead of a more casual button-down type. Avoid short sleeves as they can come across as being too casual. Make sure that your dress shirt fits you well and doesn’t look too loose or messy.
In a nutshell, the principles that apply to choosing and wearing a tie for your interview applies to your dress shirt. Always err on the side of caution, go for a professional look rather than taking the chance to make a fashion statement.
Interview Preparation: Proper Grooming
You have your outfit chosen and have done your research on the company culture. This means that you’re ready to go on your interview, right? Well, as you’re dressing yourself in the morning, it’s important not to forget the finishing touches that come along with basic grooming.
These are all small things, which you might not think make much of a difference, but your interviewer will use them to help form an impression of you. They’re what will make you go from a well-dressed job candidate to a truly professional one.
Get your hair trimmed and washed before you go on your interview. This means trimming the sides and adding some style to it, and making sure that you wash your hair so it’s not oily or greasy. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but just enough so that you look good.
Shave your face, or trim your beard or moustache nicely. Some people recommend foregoing the beard entirely to help yourself look that much more professional, but if you do have a beard, make sure to groom it properly.
You might not even think about this, but let’s say you pick up a piece of paper your interviewer hands you. You don’t want them to see your hands and wonder about the dirt underneath your fingernails. It can be as simple as cleaning up your nails and trimming them slightly.
It’s important to shower before your interview, to scrub your face, and to put on some deodorant. Do not put on any cologne or strong perfumes, since you never know when this may be overwhelming to the person interviewing you. Keep the scents to a minimum, keep your skin looking clean, and clean up your nails before you head out.
What to Avoid Wearing for an Interview
It’s all about making a good first impression, which means wearing the right things and avoiding everything else. You already know what to wear, so now let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t wear if you want to make the perfect first impression.
First off, don’t go overboard on your jewelry. Avoid wearing much more than a wedding band if you’re married, and a watch that looks professional. This includes piercings. Your piercings may not be too noticeable, but you should try to present yourself as cleanly as possible, especially if you’ll be interviewing in a more corporate environment.
No matter what shirt you do end up wearing, make sure that anything you own is not wrinkled. Get everything you have dry-cleaned and ironed, since even these small details can ruin the perfect outfit.
Even if you’re not interviewing for the most formal job out there, you still want to stay away from choosing something that’s too casual. Don’t wear a tee shirt, avoid sportswear, wear proper dress shoes, and even in hot weather, make sure that you’re put together properly.
Making a Fashion Statement
You want to present yourself as an individual with your own unique sense of style, but avoid anything that’s too over the top. This is not the right situation for making a fashion statement. If you have a fun tie, maybe save that tie for when you have a job at the office and choose something a little more professional when you go out on your interview.
To sum it up, the bottom line is to wear a tie unless you have been instructed not to. You’re going on your interview and you’re terrified that you’ll dress wrong right out of the gate. The best thing you can do is to dress your best, and pick out a great tie that will work for your office environment.
The right look and accessories will help you make a great first impression on your employer, and just might help you get that job! Follow our tips and feel confident about your outfit so you can focus on the rest of your interview without worrying.
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