Interview Attire: Pajamas with Slippers?

October 22, 2010 ( – Hiring managers often see crazy things, but some of the job applicant outfits reported in a recent poll lend new urgency to the question: What were they thinking?

An OfficeTeam news release about the survey of more than 670 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada said the HR officials were asked about the strangest interview outfits they had heard of or seen personally.

From applicants apparently going for a casual look, the managers reported a sweatshirt and sweatpants, a cutoff T-shirt and pants, pajamas with slippers, and a bandana with torn jeans.

Then there were the sports-minded applicants with their head (apparently) still in the game. The HR manages reported interviewees clad in a basketball jersey, a jogging suit, a baseball cap, tennis shoes, or Yoga or exercise clothes.

Some applicants apparently stopped by on their way to the beach with some clad in a swimsuit and cover-up, Bermuda shorts, a sundress and flip-flops, or a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

Then, according to the hiring managers, there was the group that apparently stopped by on the way back from the disco. The HR officials reported seeing applicants in a micromini and fishnet stockings, a very low-cut blouse, a leather vest with no shirt, or a sequined top.

“Although these examples seem absurd, it’s easy to make more subtle mistakes when selecting interview attire, particularly among those new to the job hunt,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, in the news release. “Ultimately, you want to project professionalism and confidence, and ensure your outfit isn’t distracting or causing employers to question your judgment.”