Should You Still Suit Up for a Job Interview?

In this era of more casual work attire, not all managers say job candidates should wear formal attire to interviews.

In a survey of senior managers, 37% of respondents said candidates should always wear a formal suit when interviewing for a job, Accountemps found.

A similar percentage (36%) indicated proper interview attire depends on the position or department at the company. Nearly one-quarter (23%) said the candidate just needs to look professional, and 4% reported that a suit would be inappropriate due to their firm’s more casual dress code.

Almost all respondents agreed how someone dresses for the job interview is significant: 52% reported it’s very important, and 42% said it’s at least somewhat important.

The research also found recommended job interview attire varies by industry as well as region. Suits are more often preferred in finance, insurance and real estate (46%) than construction (28%) or retail (26%). Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. (54% each) have the highest percentage of managers who said a suit should always be worn to job interviews.

Phoenix (45%), Minneapolis (43%) and Charlotte (42%) have the most managers who said whether a suit should be worn to a job interview depends on the position or department at the company. Austin and Seattle (32% each) are the top markets where a suit may not be necessary if the candidate looks professional.

The survey includes responses from more than 2,800 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.