Workplace dress codes continue to go more casual, and many companies consider a “wear what you want” attitude to be part of their culture.
But not when it comes to the job interview, and definitely not in D.C.
A recent survey of Washington-area hiring managers by staffing firm Robert Half found 54% of them say a formal suit or dress is a must for a job-interviewing candidate.
“While attire is certainly not the only thing that applicants are judged on during the interview, it is 100% part of the equation,” Beth Sears, at Robert Half’s D.C. office, told WTOP.
“A polished appearance can lend credibility and set you apart from your competition,” she said.
The Robert Half survey found 94% of managers say style of dress is important for candidates.
Wearing a best dress or suit and tie is also good for the person being interviewed.
“When you look great, you feel great, and that just exudes throughout the interview,” Sears said. “When you look your best, it breeds confidence.”
Size also matters: Larger companies are more likely to expect candidates to wear a suit to a job interview than smaller companies.
What to wear to an interview apparently depends more on where you are at than what kind of profession you are in.
Companies in Seattle and Austin, according to Robert Half’s survey, are the least likely to say a suit and tie is expected for a job interview. D.C. ties New York for where the most hiring managers expect to see candidates show up for an interview dressed up.
Robert Half has some tips on what to wear for a job interview in a recent blog post.