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Is a suit a must for an interview?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I know typically a conservative, well fitted suit is the best thing to wear to a standard interview.
However, my issue is that I work in a very casual office- the fact my dress shirt is tucked into my jeans today makes me more dressed up then many in the office.
If I wear a suit to the office on a day I have to leave for an interview I will almost certainly raise suspicions and questions.

Do I sacrifice the formal wear in order to not draw attention to myself?

A little more about me:
I live in NYC (no car to change in/ store a suit)
I currently work in the online space and likely will continue to, but it would be good to hear if anyone's advice changes if I was to interview at more of a classic company.

Thanks everyone.
post #2 of 15
Take a sick day
post #3 of 15

Taking the whole day is the best advice.

 

If you don't want to do that, bring it with you in a garment bag. Hang it in the coat closet along with your coat. Change at the end of the day in the bathroom, preferably on a different floor than where you work. If you are really paranoid, most NYC hotels allow (I believe, by law) anyone to use their restrooms on the lobby level or sometimes one level up. You could always change in one of these.

post #4 of 15

^^^^

 

Either that, or wear a suit and make up an excuse.

post #5 of 15
It really depends on the job you're applying for. If it's a similar position (or hopefully a step up) with a similar company:

1. I don't think a suit is necessary; and
2. As a prospective employer, I would understand an interviewee letting their contact know in advance your office is very casual and that, short of taking a half day off of work, it would be too noticeable to wear a suit to your office and/or too time-consuming to change clothes twice and complete an interview over a long lunch hour.

I think you could probably wear pressed chinos and an oxford shirt to work without looking like a guy who obviously has an interview (or parole hearing) that day. Neatly fold a sport coat in your bag and no one will be the wiser.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckprax View Post

Take a sick day

Quote:
Originally Posted by msulinski View Post

Taking the whole day is the best advice.

If you don't want to do that, bring it with you in a garment bag. Hang it in the coat closet along with your coat. Change at the end of the day in the bathroom, preferably on a different floor than where you work. If you are really paranoid, most NYC hotels allow (I believe, by law) anyone to use their restrooms on the lobby level or sometimes one level up. You could always change in one of these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

^^^^

Either that, or wear a suit and make up an excuse.



Do that^^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound35 View Post

It really depends on the job you're applying for. If it's a similar position (or hopefully a step up) with a similar company:

1. I don't think a suit is necessary; and
2. As a prospective employer, I would understand an interviewee letting their contact know in advance your office is very casual and that, short of taking a half day off of work, it would be too noticeable to wear a suit to your office and/or too time-consuming to change clothes twice and complete an interview over a long lunch hour.

I think you could probably wear pressed chinos and an oxford shirt to work without looking like a guy who obviously has an interview (or parole hearing) that day. Neatly fold a sport coat in your bag and no one will be the wiser.


DON'T do that^^^
post #7 of 15
Your question was if it is a MUST. The answer to that is no. For and interview you should generally wear you would be expected to wear on your dressiest day at work (think important meeting).
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B View Post

Your question was if it is a MUST. The answer to that is no. For and interview you should generally wear you would be expected to wear on your dressiest day at work (think important meeting).

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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ter1413 View Post

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?

A suit is not appropriate for every job interview. If you showed up wearing a suit for an interview to be a lumberjack it would be akin to wearing sandals. Either outfit would get you laughed off the job site. That is an extreme example but it illustrates the importance of dressing for the job.

This article is a little old but still has some good reference information.
Quote:
People sometimes wonder how they should dress. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. If you still want a recommendation, I say a button-down shirt or even a T-shirt. A suit can come off as too formal in some companies (e.g. Google).

This point is not as important, because people won't really care. You should ask your recruiter about what to wear, since this differs by country and East Coast / West Coast. A company like Google is more casual, so if you come in a three-piece suit, your interviewers may raise an eyebrow. If you've got the goods in terms of engineering skills, it's not a dealbreaker though. One candidate came to an interview wearing a gothic mesh shirt with holes through which his nipples were clearly visible. He still got the job. (I don't recommend taking this risk.)
Niniane Wang (author) was the engineering manager for Google at the time.

Living in New York it is definitely going to be a little more formal than here in the Bay Area. I'm not saying don't wear a suit, just trying to help you make a more informed decision.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B View Post

?

A suit is not appropriate for every job interview. If you showed up wearing a suit for an interview to be a lumberjack it would be akin to wearing sandals. Either outfit would get you laughed off the job site. That is an extreme example but it illustrates the importance of dressing for the job.

This article is a little old but still has some good reference information.
Niniane Wang (author) was the engineering manager for Google at the time.

Living in New York it is definitely going to be a little more formal than here in the Bay Area. I'm not saying don't wear a suit, just trying to help you make a more informed decision.


Th OP realizes that a suit is what should be worn. He just does not want his current job to know that he is interviewing. Of course if the position was for a lumberjack, a suit would not be necessary. But that is NOT what we are talking about...
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ter1413 View Post

Th OP realizes that a suit is what should be worn.
The title for the thread suggests otherwise.

OP, you have the information, figure out what type of a interview it is and dress accordingly.
post #12 of 15

Maybe if your current boss thinks you are looking, they'll offer you more money!  So, wear the damn suit and screw them! 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.
This is absolutely some great advice to go on.
Apologies if the title was a little misleading.

Sounds like, assuming the new job warrants a suit to the interview, it's best to find a work around to be sure I can wear one.

Having graduated from business school a number of years ago, it's difficult to wrap my head around not wearing a suit to an interview. However, perhaps in some cases it is acceptable; if it fits with the culture of the new company.
post #14 of 15
Yes, a suit is a must (not only for interviews, by the way). Intuition often gives the right advice. If you're presuming that a suit may be appropriate, then a suit is most certainly appropriate. And if you're presuming that wearing a baseball cap is a bad idea, then it's certainly a bad idea.

Just say you're invited to a wedding party after work.
post #15 of 15
You do not say what job you are applying for, but a suit is likely for many.
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