4 answers

Do the way i dress to the interview affect me getting the job?

Updated New York, New York

4 answers

Corey’s Answer

Updated

Hi Luke,

In short: Yes—the way you "dress" for the interview will affect your interview outcome; however, the full answer is a bit more nuanced.


tl;dr Dress for the role, company culture, comfort, and confidence. Not a suit and tie person? Totally fine—look around to see what others are wearing who work there. Dressing for the culture, with your own personal flair, is way more important than wearing a suit and tie.


Detailed answer: "Dressing" for an interview is more than about wearing a suit and tie—it is about dressing yourself to be who you are, in the way that makes you most comfortable and confident, and in a way that matches or elevates the culture you are interviewing in. Let me share a few personal examples here—both as an interviewee and interviewer.


Interviewee:

  1. Deloitte (one of the big 4), is famous for being a suit and tie company and culture; however, I am not a suit and tie person—never have been. I walked into my manager-level interview in business casual attire with my own personal touch as an edit: colorful slacks, a button-down shirt, and a sweater. I was arguable the only candidate interviewing that day and, while I do not know the outcome of the other candidates who were interviewing, I received—and accepted—an offer. Did it matter that I was not in a suit and tie? Absolutely not! That said, I dressed in a way that made me feel confident, in a way that I was most comfortable in, and in a way that was not too far away (up or down) from the cultural norm of where I interviewed. This means that the way I "dressed"—inside and out—absolutely impacted my interview outcome because it allowed me to be who I am in a way that matched with the company.

Interviewer:

  1. While at a major pharmaceutical company, I interviewed people all the time as a manager or above and saw people dress from casual, to business casual, to business, and even beyond. Not once did someone's actual clothing make a difference in my interview outcome; however, the way the person "dressed" for the interview—meaning how they presented themselves—did impact the interview outcome. Those who dressed in a suit and tie, whom were comfortable in a suit and tie, did just as well as those in jeans, a button down, and a jacket or sweater. Not once did someone's "suit and tie" make me think more or, or less, of them as a candidate. What mattered more is whether they were comfortable enough in their attire to interview well and show a match and attempt to adopt the cultural norms of the company.

In summary,

  1. You do not need to wear a suit and tie—you do need to wear something culturally appropriate for the company location/office.
  2. You do need to be you and who you are. Never present yourself, or "dress", as someone you are not. Being you, the confident you, matters more than anything


Good luck!

Corey recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the cultural norms of the target company. Use company promotional videos, networking events, and marketing images to determine the "dress code"
  • Find outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident that are within a step or two, up or down, from the cultural norm for the company.
  • Show up, dressed as yourself, and be confident in who you are.

James’s Answer

Updated

Hi Luke,


It's always important to dress for the occasion. Wearing a suit & tie for a interview shows commitment and professionalism. Interviews are always about first impressions and what you wear is kind of the start of how your employer is going to view you. Obviously wearing a suit will not mean you will get the job but it definitely helps more than not wearing a suit.


Hope this helps.


Best,

James

Austin’s Answer

Updated Washington, Washington

Luke, easy answer: 100% yes what you wear to an interview will affect you landing that job. How you dress really says so much about you, so if you show up wearing ripped jeans a T-shirt you will be perceived as lazy and indifferent. The saying "dress for success" exists for a reason as dressing well is a tried and true method of increasing your chance of having a good interview.


Also dressing well doesn't take that much more effort and you will be a pro at tying a tie in no time!!

Austin recommends the following next steps:

  • Dress professionally

Michael’s Answer

Updated

Hi Luke,


It absolutely does. As I touched on in my previous answer to you, I am in the Recruitment industry and can attest directly that the way you are dressed says a lot about you and directly affects the interview. Unless it is explicitly asked of you to dress a certain way, you should always wear a suit and tie to an interview. This is regardless of what type of position you are interviewing for. I can say firsthand that hiring managers will judge a book by its cover and dressing nicely shows that the role is important to you. This sort of dedication will be an early indicator of a good employee to the person hiring for the role.


Thanks!


Mike

Updated
Hi Luke, I do have a slightly different perspective with regards to what you wear in interviews. I do believe first impression is important and wearing something nice, clean, and elegant will go a long way. Having said that, I do believe things are different between industries. I work in the software/tech industry. I have interviewed many many people and have been interviewed a lot in my career. I think I might have seen maybe only one or two people out of tens that I interviewed wear a suit and a tie. I never wore one myself. One might even find it awkward to be so dressed up during an interview. But that's in tech, I can't comment on other industries but I think the general inclination is to wear a suit and a tie and tech is likely the exception to the rule. Best, Amin