Dressing For Success (Most Don't)

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Comments (19)

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

As a current job seeker, one thing I’ve been taking careful notice to is how other candidates dress for interviews whenever I go to open or group interviews. In comparison to most candidates, I’ve been wondering if I’m overdressed. Most of the other candidates who are with me dress like it's a trip to the beach, a trip to the park for a picnic with family and friends, or like they were going out on a leisurely day of errands. Yet, these are the kinds of people getting the jobs. I don't get it. Maybe I should wear jeans shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops to my interviews too then I may stand a better chance of being hired alongside those beach bums and other casual dressers.

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Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida

21 months ago

I don't get to worked up about what to wear...just business casual, that's the solid norm these days. I don't know, have things become even more casual then business casual?

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida said: I don't know, have things become even more casual then business casual?

That's what I'd like to know.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

21 months ago

I always dress up. I just thinks it's more professional even if it's a casual work environment. I have my standard attire; skirt, white blouse, dark stockings and pumps. Simple but professional. No perfume because some people are allergic to it. =}

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I always dress up. I just thinks it's more professional even if it's a casual work environment. I have my standard attire; skirt, white blouse, dark stockings and pumps. Simple but professional. No perfume because some people are allergic to it. =}

Same here. Also no perfume.

By the way, you don't have to spend a lot of money on interview attire. I learned long ago to rummage through thrift shops in upscale neighborhoods. I don't always find a gold mine but I have saved hundreds of dollars over the years when I do.

Even if you have to have something altered, its much cheaper than buying off the rack. I have found clothes with the price tags still on them. Name brands too.

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Jeff in Silver Spring, Maryland

21 months ago

Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida said: I don't get to worked up about what to wear...just business casual, that's the solid norm these days. I don't know, have things become even more casual then business casual?

In what industry(ies) is business casual the "solid norm" for interviews?

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

Jeff in Silver Spring, Maryland said: In what industry(ies) is business casual the "solid norm" for interviews?

For jobs that require heavy labor, shift work, hands-on industry skills or outdoor labor, formal interview dress isn't expected. If the potential job requires you to assemble products, operate heavy equipment, work in a dusty or dirty environment or provide an outdoor service like lawn care, then business casual is a viable option for interviews and they're probably not going to expect you to come dressed that way. Khakis (e.g. Dockers) and a collared t-shirt in good condition (not wrinkly/messy) or jeans and a (dress) shirt are a pretty safe bet for the vast majority of tech jobs, particularly in the games industry. I guess in many "creative" industries, casual wear is the norm for interviews unless you're interviewing for an executive or lead (software) developer position.

But for most everything else dressing up is STILL the interview standard. (At least that's what the colleges and universities are telling the young people.)

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

As far as I know, for reception work, one should ALWAYS be dressing up as opposed to down and wearing business casual-type attire. I've been told you always dress up even if they're in business casual because they already work there and you don't so it's acceptable for them. Besides, dressing up gives you the appearance you're professional and take really good care of yourself grooming wise. IMHO, better to over dress than under dress.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

I dressed up for my 1st and 2nd interview with this doctor, an internist, last summer (just prior to getting my job with Dr. Barr). For the first interview I work a pant suit by Perceptions. For the second interview I wore a gray dress with a jacket by Kathy Roberts. The doctor was so impressed with how I dressed for my interviews that he ended up offering me the job when he asked and I told him this is how I ALWAYS come dressed to my interviews.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

99 percent of the time I wear a suit.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Always wear a tie.

Once in awhile tie and nice sweater (no jacket then), like when I interviewed for a Sales job at a Beer Distributor.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

21 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: As far as I know, for reception work, one should ALWAYS be dressing up as opposed to down and wearing business casual-type attire. I've been told you always dress up even if they're in business casual because they already work there and you don't so it's acceptable for them. Besides, dressing up gives you the appearance you're professional and take really good care of yourself grooming wise. IMHO, better to over dress than under dress.

When I worked at the hospital I had an interview with another unit right when my shift ended. I changed from my scrubs to dress up clothing for the interview. The manager and supervisor commented on this. They were very impressed because they said most people wouldn't take the time to change from their scrubs, it showed I was professional, which would reflect in my work. I got the job... =)

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

21 months ago

Depends on what you mean by "dress up".

I once attended an interview where I wore a better suit than anyone else in the room. I think it was a mistake.

No, it wasn't Italian silk suit that Mafia Dons wear, it was just a good quality quit (well tailored, sharp looking, not horrible fabric and shape like most suits you see on department store racks).

It made me look out of place and may be interviewer wrongly assumed that I may think myself too good for the job.

Sometimes things work out counter-intuitively: you do something thinking it will make one impact (Candidate: "Let me wear a good suit , so I may look professional and have a better chance of landing a job") but it actually has an opposite effect ( Interviewer: "This person is too dressed up. What does he/she think he/she is? Probably has too high opinion of him/herself and won't be a good worker. Let me play safe and consider some other candidate!").

Of course wearing rags or dirty clothes and going to interview unshaven and smelling won't guarantee you a job either.

The point is: it is not a chess but a poker game when it comes to interviews (as I see it today) , it is hard to guesstimate what will or will not work out to your best advantage during the interview and if anything feels like "overdoing" then you are probably on the wrong end (including dressing noticeably better than most others).

Good luck!

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Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida

21 months ago

I'm sorry but who wears suits, ties and dresses these days to work? A Few but not most. At previous employers, I would see people in a 3 piece suit coming in for an interview; I was thinking that's so out of place and bordering on dorky unless it's a sales type interview, then I could see it.

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

21 months ago

Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida said: I'm sorry but who wears suits, ties and dresses these days to work? A Few but not most. At previous employers, I would see people in a 3 piece suit coming in for an interview; I was thinking that's so out of place and bordering on dorky unless it's a sales type interview, then I could see it.

Here in DC area everyone wears suits and ties. It's not considered 'dorky' here.
But depending on what type of job you are being interviewed for wearing the better than average dept. store quality suit may actually be to your disadvantage.

Don't overdo it. Wear clean clothes appropriate for the someone earning the wages of the position you apply for and you should be ok.

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sighing in southern, New Jersey

21 months ago

I always wear a pant or skirt suit, but nothing too fancy or expensive-not that I can afford it. I always wear stockings, too. I was always taught that women MUST wear hose, but more and more, I am seeing women with bare legs and bare feet. I am not doing that. At my mom's company, that is a dress code violation, and she does not work in a "fancy" office.

I have seen people dressed in super expensive looking outfits, as well as people looking like they are headed to the club. I am temping now, and they are giving a young woman the full-time and perm. version of this job. She dresses terribly, but daddy is rich and connected, so I think she could come in wearing anything and it would not matter.

I think that if the job is an actual job (meaning someone connected does not already have it), it can really depend on the interviewer. I think some are very old school and expect you to be dressed very properly, while others lean to a more casual way of dressing.

I would much rather be overdressed than under-dressed.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida said: I'm sorry but who wears suits, ties and dresses these days to work? A Few but not most.

That's NOT the point.

The point is first impressions are everything. The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That's why, in many cases, it is still important to dress professionally for a job interview, regardless of the work environment. You want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. First impression have more power than you expect, especially when it comes to the job interview. A significant part of a hiring decision is not only your experience but also your appearance. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based upon your appearance during a first meet. If you dressed professionally come to an interview , you will feel a confidence and others will sense your self-assurance as well. That's why it's always important to dress professionally for a job interview.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

sighing in southern, New Jersey said: I would much rather be overdressed than under-dressed.

Me too.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

21 months ago

IMHO, I think everyone should dress for an interview by putting their best foot forward in every way that they can.

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