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What IS the Appropriate Attire for an Interview?

By CaptBilly1Eye ·
In the old days of "Dress For Success," the three piece suit for men and the dress suit for women were the recommended uniforms for attending that all-important first interview. Times have surely changed and company dress codes have been loosened for so long that there doesn't appear to be as much focus on dress as there once was. What's your opinion?

When dressing for your first interview, what would you wear? As an interviewer, what would you like to see an interviewee wear? Does it make a large difference based on the job you/they are applying for (i.e. IT Manager, Graphics Designer, Web Developer, Technical Support Analyst, Help Desk)? Does it still matter?

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Yes, but

by crdanford In reply to Sign of respect

You need to dress for the job in question. If you don't know, ask when you schedule the interview what the dress code is, and what the common dress is for the position. Then dress a touch better than that.

I interview for break/fix hardware technicians that start out at $10-15/hr. When candidates come in in a suit, I assume they are not looking for such a low level position. Our technicians wear polo shirts and jeans or khakis. I would prefer to see interview candidates in nice pants and a button up shirt, a tie would be fine, but a three peice suit is overboard.

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Interview is 2 way street

by Alchemist-Joat In reply to Coat and Tie for Men, Bus ...

If the company doesn't like my casual wear in an interview, then I probably don't want to work for that company.

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it depends

by jck In reply to What IS the Appropriate A ...

on the environment of the workplace.

on the job they are interviewing for.

I would not expect a network tech to come in a suit and tie.

I would not think an IT manager candidate would come in Dockers and a golf knit.

But, I would not discount their ability as a manager. I don't think dress = success. Success is a direct result of the ability of your team...not their wardrobe budget.

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First impressions count

by jdclyde In reply to it depends

neat and well groomed is a must. If you look like you slept in your shirt, it can be assumed you will show as much eye for detail on the job as you did for how you got dressed.

Environment is key though. You walk into a mom n' pop shop, they don't want a pretentious stuff shirt. If you walk into IBM wanting a job, better have a sports jacket over that tie.

Having shiny shoes also helps you look up skirts..... ]:)

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not all people fit that mold

by jck In reply to First impressions count

I don't always shave and I sometimes wear a shirt that has a hole in the pocket or a pair of slacks that aren't pressed. But, I am meticulous in my coding and database design.

Wardrobe is not a definitive indicator of work ethic.

Not everyone is the same. I'd rather have someone who looks a bit disshevelled and can do their job, than someone who comes in snazzy dress thinking that their wardrobe makes their work ethic any better.

I agree with your 2nd paragraph....and 3rd especially ]:)

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But the point is...

by JamesRL In reply to not all people fit that m ...

For an interview you need to present yourself as well as you can. Show them your best self. And that means making an effort.

Would you fail to shave and wear a shirt with a hole in it on a first date with a hot babe? The situation isn't that dissimilar.

The guy who showed up to my office all dishevelled and in running shoes for an interview basically told me that he really didn't care to make an effort. He didn't dress up, nor did he research the company. He thought charm would get him through. It didn't.


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Let me say 2 things

by jck In reply to But the point is...

1) Some people can't afford even a $299 suit from Men's Warehouse...I would *NEVER* judge someone's ability based on their level of clothing.

2) Dressing for an interview vs. Dressing for a hot babe: Very dissimilar - I'm not looking to get hot and heavy with my employer...

Maybe the guy who showed up in running shoes and jeans just flew in to interview and the airline lost his bag?

Trust me...almost happened to me. Almost went in jeans and a casual shirt because of the airline they booked me through.

Don't always think because they show up in street clothes that they had a choice.

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I don't own a suit at all

by jdclyde In reply to Let me say 2 things

but I do have a few nice dress shirts and a few ties. (no, I don't think wearing the one with the cat holding the computer mouse in it's mouth by the "tail" would get me the job, nor the one that looks like circuit board.)

There are other things, is their hair neat (provided they have hair)?

Are they clean shaven, or a few daze growth?

Do they look like someone your customers would be comfortable with, if they deal with customers?

In case of the airline, if it were a chance of a lifetime interview, you can bet my interview clothes would be carry on.

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What do you have to go on, jck?

by jdclyde In reply to not all people fit that m ...

When I walk in that door for in interview, you have no way of REALLY knowing what kind of employee I would turn out to be.

Until you can PROVE yourself, show them what they want to see.

The first year or so, I wore a tie. Now it is izod all the way.

I am about 9 days out from last shave.

And again, as James pointed out, there is a difference between daily wear and interview wear. Pretty yourself up.

Pressed pants? That is what you have a dryer for! (hey, what do you expect? The ex got the iron in the divorce..... ;\ )

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Pressed pants

by JamesRL In reply to What do you have to go on ...

Isn't that what drycleaners are for. $2.99...

One of my interviewing rituals was to always have a suit/jacket ready to go on a moments notice. You just have to hit the drycleaner after an interview...

I still keep a shaving kit ready to go for last minute travel. I can and have packed for a 3/4 day business trip in under 5 minutes.


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