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Interview Attire: When In Rome

PrimerMagazine.com published an article this week entitled, “Why You Should Still Wear A Suit To Every Job Interview,” which contends that jobseekers should not be misled by, nor assimilate to, the “casualization” of office attire, at least in a job interview … even if it means being incongruently and egregiously overdressed.


I’m a big fan of the suit, and will always advocate looking sharp in an interview, but let’s be clear – not every clime and place is appropriate for a suit. Don’t be the clown who overdresses for an interview at a 5-person web startup.  They will laugh at you.  To your face.  Then they’ll hire someone cooler.

Take the time to appropriately feel out the culture and environment of a company/potential employer.  DON’T push the aesthetic envelope or make a first impression that doubles as a fashion statement.  DO dress sharply and appropriately, in keeping with the standards and culture of the individual company. 

When in Rome …

  1. April 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing the article! I disagree, since I published the other article, on two points. What kind of start up would laugh at someone who wants to convey a professional appearance during an interview? If such a place even exists, I know I at least wouldn’t want to work there. The interview affords the employer the opportunity to see the candidate at their best, so there will be no surprises when, for example, there’s a big client meeting and it turns out that this person dresses casually or poorly for everything.

    Feeling out the culture is a must, but I know horror stories of people being asked to go home because they haven’t met their dress standards. That’s a rough first impression.

    When in Rome is important, for me, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    Thanks for reading!

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