In a few days, I'll have a hiring interview in a software company which works with customers in the financial sector. I imagine they expect candidates to be wearing new and relatively expensive clothes.

The problem is that I'll need to walk a lot before and after the interview (no, taking a taxi is not an option), which means that I'll need to wear slightly old shoes (they match the expected style, but are just very far from being new) and probably my old suit.

Should I mention during the interview that I am aware of the state of my clothes and apologize for it, making the interviewer understand that I expect to wear newer clothes if one day I have to work with the customers of this company, or should I avoid mentioning this subject, unless asked?

  • 2
    IF you haven't done so, I'd strongly recommend talking with your recruiter or primary contact at the company where you're interviewing to confirm their expected dress code. Especially if they're not co-located with the bank, it's quite possible that their default dress code is significantly more casual and that they only dress up when doing client visits. Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 3:02
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    "new and expensive" matters a whole lot less than "clean and fits you well" .In either case, your mindset going in to your interview is going to play a dominant role in how you're perceived, so focus on that.
    – Kaz
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 3:40
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    @Paparazzi Shortage of money is consistent both with not being able to use a taxi and not being able to buy or rent interview clothes. Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 5:58
  • Have a friend drive you so you can wear your best clothes. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 11:55

3 Answers 3


Don't mention the state of your clothes, quite possibly no one will notice. You're not usually expected to buy a new suit for an interview. Take a rag with you and buff your shoes shortly before you get there.

People are different, but personally I don't really look at clothes in detail so long as the ensemble creates the right impression. The only time I'm likely to is if the person is self-conscious about their attire.

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    It's worth mentioning that since OP mentioned "expensive" clothes, a suit does not have to be expensive to make you look professional and super sharp. At the beginning of my career that was struggle to wrap a head around since that's one of the things you learn on your own unfortunately. Nobody cared if my suit was from ASDA (part of the Wal-Mart family, yo!) or one of the Saville Row tailors. What mattered was that it was the right size, it was clean and shirt was ironed properly. Look at Trump - expensive suits but none of them make him look particularly sharp. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 12:21
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    @Cthulhubutt True enough, but everything is expensive when you're unemployed.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:01
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    I wholeheartedly agree, I didn't intend for OP to get the wrong impression from that comment. Some things are really, really unattainable at the beginning of career, or when you are out of work for a while,and almost everyone gives you advice that, while it works for them, it might not in your circumstances. I never frowned on going to charity shops and getting second hand clothes when I was really, really tight on money. OP mentioned old suit in question and that in my eyes should be perfectly fine. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:06

Hit the Salvation Army or a Goodwill store. Borrow or get a suit from a friend, especially if you happen to know that he is a clotheshorse.

If you do a lot of walking in the hot sun, stop at air conditioned stores along the way.

And before you do anything, quit imagining that "they expect candidates to be wearing new and relatively expensive clothes" and instead call your HR point of contact, tell them that you have an interview with them and ask them point-blank what's their expectation regarding dress code. You want to work with THEIR data not YOUR assumptions.


How you project yourself professionally, and your personal hygiene and grooming, are more important than whether your suit is new.

If you're going to walk a lot before the interview, consider bringing a travel-size pack of wet wipes to clean any sweat or oil off your face and neck before the interview. A quick touch-up of deodorant (not perfume) in the bathroom also wouldn't hurt, depending on how much you sweat on the way there. Both the wipes and the deodorant can be concealed in your briefcase or portfolio. If you're not bringing one, put them in your suit pockets, but be prepared to throw them away discreetly (outside the office building or in a bathroom) if they look or feel bulky.

Good luck!

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