Monday, October 11, 2010

Alpha Style Interview - Dress to Impress

When most people dress for an interview they wear what they think is appropriate, or dress in a way that maximises their attractiveness. But a more tactical approach is to dress in a way that creates a positive psychological impression.

How do you do that?

By expressing what the business and corporate sectors value... not your own personal values... and not fashion trends that are popular on campus.

So what do the business and corporate sectors value?

They value staff who can be : practical, capable, effective in their role, have high standards, and an appreciation for detail.

These are the five characteristics of an Alpha personality, and they are generally expressed as a way of dressing that is :

1)  simple (practical)
2)  strong (capable)
3)  and functional (effective)
4)  with an obvious quality (high standards)
5)  and an understated elegance (appreciation for detail).

For men in the business and corporate sectors this translates as a look that's : 

1)  simple... wear classic styles, not trendy fashion 
2)  strong... use solid colours as your foundation
3)  and functional... clothing and accessories that perform well in the role.

And if you can afford it, one or more items that have :

4)  obvious quality... brands known for good craftsmanship 
5)  and an understated elegance... subtle refinement.

Solid coloured suits are very versatile, and you could choose from : black, charcoal, dark blue, mid-gray, taupe (gray/brown), or even camel.

Pin-stripes and checked suits are an option, but they should be understated.

Shirts :  With a solid colour suit, the most versatile shirt is a solid colour as well.  But it shouldn't be a pale washed-out colour... wear something that has a bit of presence about it (see photo above).

After work or on the weekend, your suit-and-shirt can then be dressed down into a smart casual look.

Ties : Ties are a very personal thing... you can choose plains, spotted, striped, patterned or paisley. But to express Alpha styling, you should wear a strong tie with a solid coloured suit and shirt.

The photo above, and the one at the top of the blog are good examples.  In both cases the tie is strong without being too bright, or too conservative. The look is created by choosing a tie that has the colour of the suit, the colour of the shirt, and a contrasting feature colour.

But that's just one idea. Solid colours and patterns can also create a strong look.

Most importantly, avoid the current trend of wearing bland narrow ties. That concept is a throw-back to the late 60's.... and it wasn't impressive back then either. So stick with the classic width... it crosses all generations and cultures.

The Fit : Make sure your clothes are fitted to complement your physique. And regardless of fashion trends, don't wear clothing that's too tight or too baggy. Your trousers shouldn't be overly long, or up around your ankles either. The classic length is down to the top of the heel on the sole of your shoe.

Footwear : Your choice of shoes should also reflect Alpha styling... so avoid anything with excess adornment (oversized buckles or lots of straps).
Most men don't think too much about their shoes, but they can say a lot about you. For example, a shoe that's dull and boring is generally worn by a person who is dull and boring. So wear something that looks simple, strong and functional - because these are all admirable traits.
Also, women like shoes... so they tend to notice the shoes that men wear. So just in case there are women on your assessment panel, it's a good idea to wear shoes that make a positive impression. And make sure that they are clean and polished.
Chisel-toed shoes are presently fashionable... which is good because the edges of that shape strengthen the look of the toe (see photo above).

Bags :  If you need to take a bag to an interview it should complement the overall impression you're trying to make... so avoid trendy bags that have superfuous buckles and straps.
If you can afford it, go for something in leather... and look for a style that's simple, strong, and functional, with an obvious quality, and an understated elegance.

Watches :  Your watch should not be too flashy... or too sporty... or overly big. However it should look sturdy and reliable, and the band can be either metal or leather.

Sunglasses :  Large sunglasses are the popular fashion for men right now, but to older generations that style can actually come across as being feminine.  It's worth noting that men in high risk occupations (like pilots, police, military) don't wear large trendy sunglasses. They have a serious intent, and their choice of sunglasses reflects that focus (see photo below). 

You will create a more positive impression if you wear frames that expresss a similar serious intent.

You might wear sports sunglasses on a weekend, but never wear them with a suit. Although some men like to do this to make the statement that they 'play a sport'... in a corporate environment it highlights that your focus is not on business.

In summary : Keep in mind that the goal of dressing Alpha Style is to make a positive psychological impression in your interview.

Although it may seem plain or restrictive, once you settle in to your work environment you will generally find that you can express a more personalised style of dress.

Keep in mind that every business wants to present an image that appeals to a broad range of age groups, and cultures. That's why they're not interested in fashion trends that come and go.

So remember the five parameters of Alpha styling :

1)  simple... wear classic styles, not trendy fashion 

2)  strong... use dark solid colours as your foundation

3)  functional... clothing and accessories that perform well in the role

4)  obvious quality... brands known for good craftsmanship and materials 

5)  and an understated elegance... subtle refinement and attention to detail.

It's a Primal Thing.

For insight into the Simplicity of Corporate Styling, click on the link below :


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