If You Do Not Know What to Wear to a Job Interview, Watch ESPN SportsCenter.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

What to wear to a job interview:  this situation causes a bit of confusion.

Many companies have a casual dress code. People wear slacks, skirts, button shirts or blouses. A lot of workers wear boots, sneakers, athletic shoes, sandals, flats, loafers, or boat shoes. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, wears a t-shirt to work.

If you are interviewing with any company for an office job, dress like the women and men on ESPN SportsCenter.  Some of them wear plaid or striped shirts or blouses. You might even dress more conservatively than these broadcast professionals and wear a white shirt or blouse.

What strikes me about the broadcasting team at ESPN is that they dress up for work in a field where many of the athlete stars  dress down by wearing warm-up suits and sweats on the way to work.  The broadcast team at ESPN present themselves as professionals and authorities at a level equal to or above other professionals in broadcast news.

I have seen people go to a job interview and wear what current employees were wearing on the job.  However incongruous or unfair, I have seen these job applicants fail to the job for not wearing a suit.  I remember one instance in which an applicant interviewed at a sales meeting where everyone was in casual attire.  The meeting was over a weekend.  The applicant wore a Hawaiian shirt.  The business manager who interviewed the applicant wore suits and white shirts to work, but dressed casually the day of the meeting.  That manager passed on the applicant for wearing what the manager considered a vacation shirt to a job interview.

Once you get the job, dress like the boss. If all your coworkers are wearing jeans and the boss is wearing khakis or a skirt, dress like the boss. Always dress for the role that you want, not the role that you have. If you dress like the senior managers in the company, you will be more confident when you meet these people. Give senior managers the chance to see your potential through your performance and your appearance.

Skilled workers need to dress one level above the level of what they wear in their trade.  If their trade workers wear coveralls or  jeans, skilled workers should wear khakis to an interview.  If a skilled worker is more comfortable wearing a suit to an interview, there is certainly no harm in their wearing a suit   However,  a suit is just not necessary.  Skilled workers should dress comfortably in neatly pressed pants, skirts, shirts or blouses, and shoes.

Image: audiophilia/Flickr

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