I know the immediate answer would be a overwhelming yes. But hear me out I need some reassurance, I am a recent high school graduate and I've been working at a restaurant for 2 years now. I recently applied to a job where the pay is much higher than what I am currently being paid.

This is my first ever big interview where I will actually be nervous, but should I be wearing a tie and dress shoes and dress pants? I feel as if it would be over kill if I did but at the same time I feel as if I should. Any advice?

I don't know if it's ok to post the jobs website or not so I'll wait on that if it is than I will post it.

closed as off-topic by Philip Kendall, maple_shaft, Masked Man, gnat, Thalantas Feb 1 '17 at 10:31

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  • 2
    What kind of job/domain ? – Max Feb 1 '17 at 1:31
  • 1
    Have you considered just asking what they'd expect you to wear for the interview? – Philip Kendall Feb 1 '17 at 1:32
  • @Max cytonix.com/aboutus.asp – Kevin Hernandez Feb 1 '17 at 1:32
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    Nice, but what job are you applying for ? to work in the front office ? shipping ? – Max Feb 1 '17 at 1:35
  • @PhilipKendall I have not but it's kind of too late the interview is tomorrow at 3 – Kevin Hernandez Feb 1 '17 at 1:35

In short:

Dress for the occasion, there is no real drawback in overdressing.

It shows that you care enough to dress "up" and that you show respect to the company that interview you.

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    There sometimes is a drawback in overdressing in that you'll be judged for "cultural fit" in the interview, and dressing in a suit while interviewing at a company whose normal attire is t-shirts and shorts will raise some questions about how well you'd fit in with the team. (my last few jobs have been at smallish startups, this may be less applicable out in the "real world") – Johnny Feb 1 '17 at 2:05
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    @Johnny That's what I'm asking – Kevin Hernandez Feb 1 '17 at 2:37
  • @Johnny - I would dress up for an interview for a "first" job - the interviewer shouldn't ding you in this situation. Later, when looking for new jobs and "cultural fit" is important, then I'd dress how I'd expect to be dressing when I actually go to work there. – HorusKol Feb 1 '17 at 3:26

If it's assembly line, wear your dress pants, dress shoes, and a dress shirt. You can probably skip the tie and the blazer - if it's cold, bring a nice sweater.

Clothes that fit well and are clean, neat and look new are better than clothes that are fancy but worn and ill-fitting. Your best bet for interviews for a non-client-facing job are probably the same outfits you might wear to attend a religious ceremony with an elderly relative. The dress code of your local Catholic college preparatory school can also be a great guide.

The other key is comfort - if you feel comfortable in it, you'll perform better.


For most interviews you should dress more formally than usual, yes. It both makes you look more serious and shows respect. (There are exceptions when you're trying to sell yourself as quirky/artist, but if you have to ask this isn't such a case.)

However, I personally draw the line at ties. At least in the subcultures I deal with, if you wear a blazer/jacket, a good button-down shirt, dress slacks (or even chinos) and a respectable pair of shoes, that's probably sufficient. If you hate ties, as I do, you can get away with skipping that.

(I'm part cat. Cats do not wear choke collars. And not being uncomfortable probably helps me more than a decorative rag would.)

But, yes, the ideal answer, if you aren't sure, is to phone ahead and ask... And then consider going a half-step up from whatever they say is the minimum.

(You can overdo it, but it's easier to ditch an unneeded jacket than to go the other way.)

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