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Some companies mandate employees wear suits every day. At others, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone wearing a tie – billionaire CEOs included.
Significantly over dressing (i.e. wearing a suit jacket and tie to a workplace where the standard is blue jeans, tennis shoes, and t-shirts) can be awkward for both parties.
As the candidate, you might look around, see flip flops galore, and start feeling insecure (the opposite of how you want to feel during an interview). On the other side, current employees might see your fancy pants and feel that you don’t understand their culture. Since an interview is all about proving your fit, this is not the feeling you want to leave the employer with.
Should you always mimic the company’s attire? Not if the office dress code completely casual. In this case, dress one to two levels above. For instance, wear a skirt or khakis instead of jeans and wear dressy shoes instead of flip flops.
If you’re not sure what the expectation is, do a little digging online. Look for photos on the company’s website and Facebook page, and check out its employees on LinkedIn.
If the dress code isn’t obvious, ask HR or whoever your point-of-contact is when you’re offered an in-person interview. Some candidates are shy about asking; don’t be. If anything, the employer will appreciate that you’re detail-oriented and considerate of the company culture.
Regardless of whether a company is business professional or internet casual, there are a few rules that apply nearly everywhere.
How do you dress for success? How do you select your interview outfit?
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