What should I wear?

It’s your big day — the interview at the company of your dreams. And, you are very annoyed that it is 2017. Yes, had it been 1990, there would not have been much of a dilemma. India was manufacturing predominantly in the Industry space, with a fledgeling I.T. industry. The dress code was uniform — western formals for men, and sarees for the few women who joined the workforce.

What Should I Wear?

Over the decades that were to follow, dress codes took separate paths depending on which industry they belong. The consolidation of the I.T. industry saw its dress code getting created — informal was the flavour.

Employees were encouraged to ‘dress down’, that is, wear jeans and tees to work.

As a result, the interview dress code also changed to eliminate full-sleeved formal shirts, ties and trousers. It was no longer taboo to walk into the interview room dressed in cargo pants and a check shirt. But, the problems began when interviewees started compromising the basics.

“I am absolutely fine with a candidate walking in wearing jeans and a tee shirt. But, if he has body odour and dirty nails, I am quite disgusted”, complains a recruitment manager.

“And not just guys, even the ladies sometimes walk in looking unkempt”, adds his colleague.

So, while informal dressing is totally acceptable in today’s times, there are some deadly sins that interviewees need to watch out for.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Interview Dressing

  1. Hair that has overgrown. Badly combed. Or uncombed.
  2. Mismatched outfit. Colours that don’t go together. Too many colours. Inappropriate prints like a floral beach shirt.
  3. Flip-flops. Chappals. Sandals (for Men). Or, damaged footwear, sometimes held together by a safety pin. Yes, ladies, don’t do that.
  4. The tie. If choosing to wear one, know how to knot it. Make sure it matches your outfit.
  5. Keep that jewellery away, gents! And ladies, keep it minimal.
  6. The body odour! Ask to get candid feedback from a family member. Wear a perfume or deodorant.
  7. Those claw-like nails. Trim them, please.

Often, candidates quip that if they are skilled and competent, what they wear does not matter. Hmmm, that may not be entirely true. Only established geniuses have been tolerated with quirky dressing sense or gaffes. Unless you are already one, better to be safe than sorry.