Knowing the office culture of the prospective employer is paramount. You should dress as if you were already working there. If you’re asked to arrive at your appointment in “business casual,” don’t assume you know what that means.
In Asia, each country has its nuances, but the general rule is that business attire grows more conservative as you move north. In Hong Kong, English dapper with colorful touches — a patterned shirt, colored pocket square or bright socks, for instance — and a fashionably slim suit is acceptable. In Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul, it is important to dress more soberly. (Mr. Nagy confesses his personal wardrobe consists mostly of suits in navy, charcoal and black or variations in between.) In Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, jackets are bit rarer, and even some bosses wear short-sleeved shirts.
Wherever you are, limit your bling to nothing more than simple cuff links and a modest watch. This is not the place or time to show off your diamond-crusted Rolex. And above all, iron your shirt. “Rumpled and wrinkled is not the best way to start the discussion,” Mr. Nagy says.