Right off the bat, let me make a wild guess: you are lucky enough you caught someone’s attention with a good résumé and will soon be going to a job interview.
Am I right?
I think I am. After all, nobody looks for this type of information when employed (although, if I’m completely wrong please let me know in the comments!).
Well, congrats on this opportunity. But let me make a second guess: the excitement for this opportunity is matched by the anxiety you feel as you wonder how you should dress for this important situation.
Did I get it right again?
Of course, you wouldn’t be interested in this post if you were already sure of what you’ll wear to your interview.
If you are a dapper dresser and an avid reader of My Dapper Self, you’ll surely think I’m just preaching to the choir with this post. Nevertheless, please continue reading – need your opinions too.
On the other hand, if you somehow arrived here by chance, following a link, or after a Google search on how you should dress for an interview, this one’s for you.
The Reason You Are Unsure What You Should Wear To A Job Interview
I feel what you should wear to a job interview isn’t even be a real question to be asked.
The correct answer should always be: you wear a suit to an interview.
Simple as that, no argument, no questions.
This only becomes an issue when there is resistance from men to suit up for an interview. Yes, even to something as critical to their lives as an interview for a good job.
“Do I really need to wear a suit to an interview?”
“Is dressing up necessary for a job interview?”
“If it’s a company with a casual dress code, can I wear casual clothes to my interview?”
I’ve read all of these time and time again.
This aforementioned resistance is the real reason behind all this ambivalence.
“Oh, if only I could find a way to get away without wearing a suit to the interview,… There must be a good excuse or a good reason not to wear one and I’m determined to find it…”
Does this sound like you right now and you’re just looking for validation? Well, I’m not gonna give you that, instead I will give you the complete opposite: a very good reason to stop your apprehension and why you definitely should suit up for your interview.
Ready? Here it is:
Suit Up To Show You Give A Damn About That Job!
This is assuming you do give a damn about it, of course.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of your interviewer, it is an absolute must that you show you really care about that job, that you would go to great lengths (even sacrificing a bit of temporary comfort) to get that job.
“Oh but shouldn’t my excellent skills and amazing education do all the talking?”
Well… in some people’s ideal world, yes.
But if you’ve passed the first few filters and are lucky enough to be granted an opportunity to get interviewed, your skills, knowledge and education are no longer the key factors that will take you to the next level. It is you proving to give a damn about it that will take you there.
Now, many factors contribute to you proving how much you really care about the job, but your appearance will surely make a great argument in your favor.
That is not even counting the still very valid evidence that the way you dress can help you make a killing first impression every single time. Because, yes, first impressions and their effects on how people will judge you remain as absolute as ever.
I mean, just think about it. You have gone through a lot to land this interview, you have prepared for whatever questions your interviewer might throw your way, you have even practiced the anwers you will deliver with great confidence.
And when the moment of the truth comes, you’d be OK to run the risk of blowing it just by giving into the resistance to wear a suit? No way!
No matter how much you hate suits (you really shouldn’t, but that’s besides the point), you just don’t blow a great opportunity for such an insignificant idiosincracy.
Yes, Your Potential Employer Will Notice
Let’s assume you trust me enough to at least consider wearing a suit for your interview (well, thank you), but the truth is, I am not a recruiter nor have I any experience doing any HR work, so how would you know if my opinion is wrong or right?
During my research for this blog post I came across an interesting article. What is this article about? In simple terms, it’s about the different factors professional recruiters look for when interviewing people. I’m sure this information would be of great interest to many of you and so I decided to share with you some of the key details from this article to reinforce my point.
So, what do they look for when interviewing applicants? (This is a summarized list, but I will encourage you to click on this link and read the complete list and the rest of the article):
- Do they take care of the small but important details?
- Do they come across as genuine?
- What does their manner say about them?
- Are they really interested in the work or what you can give them?
- Are they enthusiastic about the work?
There are no clear mentions of appearance as such, but you can see how dressing the part can positively influence a recruiter’s impression of you, especially when professional recruiters deem things like taking care of details and manners as important.
And last, even if they don’t make a conscious decision to qualify you based on your apperance, their unconscious mind will surely notice.
What About Company Culture And Fitting In?
“If a company has no dress code whatsoever, then it makes sense to assume there must be no dress code for a job interview to get into this company either.”
Umm… not so sure, if I have to be honest.
In my experience and from my perspective, the apparent lack of a dress code applies to employees, not potential candidates.
In other words, you are not an employee yet, and so you’re still out there in the battlefield fighting against some other candidates who might be willing to go that one extra mile you’re refusing to run. They might take the job away from you and all for such a stupid reason.
And wouldn’t that be a real shame!
Suit up, kill the interview, get the job, study your new company’s culture and then, just then, let your so-called true self and style shine. Or… you can keep suiting up for work, trust me, it isn’t that bad. 😉
So this is my opinion. But do you think? Am I completely wrong in my take on this? What do you say? Do you agree? I admit as a formal style blogger and consultant for men I can be a bit biased, so additional opinions are welcome.
Anyway, you know how it goes, leave your thoughts below and let’s get the discussion started.
Til next time!
Featured image source.