Is it still necessary to wear a suit to a job interview? Here’s what employers say

Conventional wisdom says that you should always wear a suit and tie to a job interview. However, conventional wisdom always stems from long-held traditions and times change. Workplaces in many sectors have become much more casual, and there are many jobs where you would never need to wear a suit to work.

So, should you still wear one to the job interview?

Well, according to a recent survey of hiring professionals, one-third (33 per cent) say that candidates should always wear a formal suit to a job interview. A further 37 per cent said that it depends on the position or department within the company.

For roles where you would wear a suit on the job, naturally you should wear one to the interview as well. For leadership or management jobs – even in a casual environment where you might not dress up for work everyday – wearing a suit to the interview is still a good idea.

A further 25 per cent of survey participants said that wearing a suit wasn’t necessary as long as the candidate dressed professionally.

Only five per cent of hiring professionals said that they found a suit to be inappropriate due to the casual nature of the workplace.

Always show up to a job interview looking clean, polished and professional. When in doubt, dress up. It’s a sign of respect for the interviewer that you care enough about impressing them to put effort into your appearance.

In the same survey, 89 per cent of employers surveyed said that how a candidate dresses during a job interview is important. Only one per cent, a tiny fraction of participants said that what applicants were wearing was not at all important.

“When it comes to a job interview, the old adage ‘dress for the job you want’ should still apply,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps, the group who commissioned the survey. “Use your interview attire as an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the corporate environment and are serious about the role. A polished outfit that aligns with the company’s culture will help to distinguish you as professional, capable and a positive fit with the organization.”

This survey includes responses from more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees across Canada. Read the full results here.

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