I have been working as a contractor with a local small engineering firm. Only about 10 total employees and I interface with the owner for my projects. Most employees including the owner wear jeans and polos.

Given that I have at least met most people in the workplace so far--should I negate the usual tip to "dress for the job you want"? I.e. should I skip the full suit and tie or at least leave the jacket at home?

Or should I go somewhat more casual: slacks, gingham shirt, skinny tie.

I should also note I only own a black suit.

  • 1
    "Dress for the job you want." - By wearing a suit, would you be saying that you don't want this job? May 24, 2020 at 19:50
  • Since you already know these people, why not just ask them (or specifically the person setting up your interview) "hey, what's the dress code for interviews"?
    – Greg
    May 24, 2020 at 19:53
  • 1
    I would dress one “level” (or two) better than the usual. So what you describe sounds good given the usual that you described. Or the gingham shirt and a blazer but no tie, and not a suit-suit.
    – Damila
    May 24, 2020 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


It's still an interview and you want to give the impression that you take it seriously. Dressing in a full suit and tie might come off as odd considering the relationship you already have with this group. Still, you don't want to come off too casual.

Seeing as you interface with these people regularly, and since the dress code seems to be fairly casual, you might consider wearing dress pants, shoes, and a dress shirt but forego the tie and jacket. Or, everything but the tie.


Follow the classic advice that

If in doubt, dress up not down

You will very rarely be marked down for dressing too smart.

I have worked at companies that have a completely casual dress code for as long as I can remember and always wore a smart dress and blazer to the interview. Personally I would go full suit.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .