Dressing for the Big Event… The Interview!

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Sep 12, 2014. Posted inBlogging In Balance

I write this advice with one qualifier:  we work with accountants.  However, it definitely applies to many other professional office positions as well.

When deciding how to dress for an interview with a specific employer, try to dress either at the same level or slightly above the level you think the interviewers may be dressed.  Professional dress - MGR Accounting RecruitersAnd if you are unsure, dress professionally.  While there are exceptions to every rule, in my 20 years of recruiting experience I have yet to hear an employer say, “We couldn’t hire that person because they just dressed too nice.”  On the other hand though, I have heard several times that they were disappointed in how a candidate chose to dress for the interview, taking it as a sign that they weren’t taking the interview process that seriously and therefore must not be too interested in the company.

Most employers will assume that a candidate is able and willing to dress down if asked; however, the reverse doesn’t always hold true.  Many employers will assume that a candidate either isn’t able, or is unwilling, to dress at an appropriate level for the company if they show up to the interview dressed less professionally than the employer expected.

Sometimes we will hear from job candidates that they don’t want to overdress because the employer may take that as a sign that they don’t fit in with the organization.  In order to combat this, try getting advice from other people that have worked at the company regarding the dress code for that particular organization.  This will help you to decide on what is appropriate.  If unable to discover what the dress code is though, always err on the more formal side.  It is highly unlikely to work to your detriment.

Given that I personally wear a tie most days, it will come as no surprise that I would advise job seekers to dress professionally for interviews.  However, I truly have never seen anyone get turned down for a job because they dressed-up too much, although I have seen the opposite happen many times.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your career.

Mark Goldman, CPA