There used to be a day and age where you were expected to dress business professional for your interviews. Well, times and businesses have changed, yet the expectations on how you dress have not. Yes, there is more leniency on the dress code, but most experts still suggest that you dress business casual at a minimum. But why?
Why should I or anyone else dress business casual or business professional if that’s not the type of job that we’re looking for? Business culture is becoming far more relaxed, and individuals like myself prefer a company that is more fun and open. So, although dress for success is a great tagline, and you should always aim for success – it makes more sense to dress for the job that you want.
A great example of this was when I had an interview with Blizzard Entertainment for my MBA internship. Business students are generally taught to be professional. My class even had a “Dress for Success” event where we were told to go no less than business casual, meaning jacket but no tie. Luckily for me, my career advisor had connected me with a Blizzard employee who advised me to dress casually for the interview.
If you do not know Blizzard, they are one of the world’s largest gaming companies and many employees come to work in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. How ridiculous would it have been if I had shown up to the interview in a suit and tie? Pretty ridiculous, and that is why you need to know the type of company that you are interviewing with.
So, what does this all mean for you? It means that you need to dress for the job you want and the company you want to work for. If you are looking to get hired by a powerful law firm, then it obviously makes sense to dress the part and power suit up. But if you are like myself and enjoy the casual, start-up culture, then dress casually to your interviews while still remaining appropriate.
If you have the same work culture preferences as me but are dressing business professional/casual for interviews, you are either overdressing for your interviews or applying to the wrong companies.
So, my advice?
Search for opportunities at companies that match your style and cultural needs, dress the part for the type of jobs and companies that you select, and feel comfortable while kicking some butt at your interviews!
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