Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

What Your Interview Attire Says About Your Company

As we have mentioned many times before, it’s normal for a job seeker to fall under judgement in the hiring process. After all, you are taking stock of a lot of their mannerisms, past jobs, word choice and of course their interview attire. No matter what industry they are trying to penetrate, job seekers are told to dress professionally for their job interview. Would you hire a job seeker that came into your office for an interview wearing flip flops, sweat pants and a t-shirt? Chances are very high that answer is a big no. So if job seekers are being judged on their interview attire, don’t you think you are as well? And by extension, your company?

The answer is, yes. What you wear to a job interview with a job seeker matters greatly. For one, you are the representative of your company for job seekers and they will most definitely judge you on what you are wearing. If you wouldn’t hire a job seeker that failed to dress professionally, then you must hold yourself to the same standards. If an employer was dressed shabbily, job seekers may think that they do not care about their job, are unprofessional, or are just simply sloppy. These are all perceptions you want to avoid when it comes to job seekers and the hiring process. Especially if you are trying to reel in and keep top talent.

It is well understood that every company has a different dress code they adhere to. Some offices will prefer employees to dress in business professional every day and others may allow their employees to dress very casual. If your company requires you to wear business casual or business professional every day, then you don’t have to worry about your interview attire since you will already be dressed appropriately. However, if your office has a very casual dress code then you should prepare for the interview ahead of time and wear the appropriate clothes.

Even though your office enjoys and celebrates a casual dress code, dressing down in a job interview sends job seekers the wrong message. In preparation for job interviews, job seekers are told to avoid the most obvious of offenses: jeans, t-shirts, flip flops and hats. As an employer, you should do the same. Flip flops and sweat pants are examples of terrible interview attire and should be avoided at all costs. Wearing these clothing items don’t allow for you to project an authoritative stance as an employer or hiring manager. It will be easy for the job seeker to dismiss you as lazy, unproductive and perhaps even immature.

In an article for Forbes, clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner was quoted saying, “Anything where it looks like you didn’t take the time or make the effort comes across badly. The worst clothing is the kind…that shows you didn’t pay attention to your body/age/situation. Any clothes that prohibit you from doing your job well send the wrong message.”

It may seem petty, but it’s true that people are judging you by the way you look- and that includes the way you dress. This is especially true in the corporate world. Job seekers want to know they are working for a reputable, good company. Dressing professionally is one way of showing them that your company is a good company to work for. Be conscious of what you wear to a job interview regardless of your company’s dress code and be sure you are presenting your best self- for both you and your company.

Do you think that it is OK to wear casual or unprofessional clothes to a job interview with a job seeker? What if you have a casual dress code in the office? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Seeds_of_Peace

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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