Home > Musings > Answer this for me: Can you overdress for a job interview?

Answer this for me: Can you overdress for a job interview?

April 12th, 2010

I couldn’t find my jacket anyway. Which is just as well because the confirmation email I’d had for several days said to dress biz-caz. Interview prep indeed.

Most of you probably know I’m anything but a clotheshorse. My co-Yelpers are likely sick of my limited t-shirt selection and once a long time ago someone asked me if I owned any shirts that weren’t plaid. I answered “What else would I wear?”

I have an interview this afternoon for a job that would be at least okay. Desperate times and all, right now I’m on my way to my mom’s house to see if I can find my blazer and a tie to maximize my chances at this interview. Am I making a mistake?

When I worked admin I always threw on the jacket and tie for interviews, but those were always biz-caz jobs and my thinking was show up dressed one notch higher than what you’d wear to the job.

Accordingly I’ve always gone to maintenance interviews in biz-caz, because these are jobs with a uniform. So my question: Is it possible to oversees for a job interview?

A few details, this is a two part interview starting with at least part of the maintenance crew and maybe one office flunky. The second part is with some HR sort. I have some concerns of appearing stuffy and/or pretentious to the maintainers (consider for a moment that most stereotypes of blue collar workers are true). Also I want to look ready to go, at least on a tour of the mechanical rooms. At the same time I want to look professional for the office drones who probably have more say.

Ideas, anyone? Maybe a compromise?Skip the tie and wear a biz-caz shirt that can take some rough handling?

  1. April 12th, 2010 at 09:53 | #1

    Sweater over a button-down with jeans would probably be appropriate, no? As long as you don’t show up in a tux, you should be okay. :)

  2. Le Morrison
    April 12th, 2010 at 10:39 | #2

    I’ve had moments similar to this recently. I show up in a shirt with buttons and get interviewed by a dude wearing track pants and a fleece vest.

    I think a tie is totally fine if it’s plain. Maybe go for a nice pair of jeans with a button-up and tie? Or, find a button up shirt that’s that dull, light blue color that a lot of maintenance-type work shirts are. Then, throw a tie on that.

  3. Gloom
    April 12th, 2010 at 21:11 | #3

    I wore jeans, work boots, and a long-sleeve chambray shirt to my last interview.

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