Should Interviewees Dress Up In A Suit For An Interview? You Make The Call

What is proper attire for an interviewee to wear? In a recent Accountemps survey of more than 2,800 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, the results revealed that 37 percent of the managers think a suit should always be worn; almost the same percentage said it depends on the position or the department; 23 percent responded that the applicant should simply look professional; and only four percent thought today's relaxed dress codes always excused wearing a suit.

In a broader sense of scrutinizing applicant apparel choices, 52 percent of respondents said the choice is "very important" and 42 percent felt an applicant's choice of attire was "somewhat important".

Location matters. More formality is required in New York City, while a more casual approach can work in Phoenix, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Austin, or Seattle.

Bottom Line:
Interviewees should know their audience. If the office is all about jeans and t-shirts, always dress one notch above that for an interview.

And, if employers want to get off on the right foot with a candidate, let him or her know in advance what attire would be appropriate for the interview. Bob Rozycki "Suit yourself: Managers split on attire for job interviews" (Sep. 10, 2019).

So, the question for our readers is: Should Interviewees Dress Up In A Suit For An Interview?

Please take the poll. Here are some opinions of some of the McCalmon editorial staff:

Jack McCalmon, Esq.

A lot depends on the job. However, I want applicants to dress as they see fit. It reflects on judgment. An applicant who interviews in jeans is telling you something. Unless it is a tuxedo or ball gown, you really cannot overdress. What is also important is that the clothes are clean and appropriate for the workplace.

Leslie Zieren, Esq.

I like the idea of letting a candidate know before an interview what is expected. That way, if the candidate misses the mark, that tells you something about him or her. If the candidate takes the coaching, that also gives you valuable information, and you can move forward and focus on other important issues in the interview beyond appearance.

You can our poll. Please note any comments provided may be shared with others.  

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