The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 2:50 pm

Should you always wear a suit to a job interview?

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Suit up, if you're job hunting in Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. But in Austin and Seattle, potential hires may not have to worry about wearing a coordinated two- or three-piece ensemble.

In a survey of senior managers, just 37% of respondents said candidates should always wear a formal suit when interviewing for a job, according to the staffing firm Accountemps. In Indianapolis, 33% felt that way.

Of all those surveyed, 36% felt proper interview attire depends on the position or department at the company. In Indianapolis, 39% felt the same.

The survey, released this month, also showed recommended job interview attire varies by industry: Not surprisingly, suits are more often preferred in finance, insurance and real estate (46%) than construction (28%) or retail (26%).

The size of an employer also matters. At least 40% of managers at companies with more than 250 employees prefer candidates wear a suit to job interviews. In comparison, just 31% of managers at organizations with 20 to 99 employees expect applicants to show up in formal wear.

For Indiana, other available stats that might come closest to the Fort Wayne experience are also for Indianapolis. Those are:

  • 24% said a suit is not necessary – the candidate just needs to look professional
  • Only 4% said a suit would not be appropriate due to the company’s more relaxed dress code
  • Overall, 95% of Indianapolis managers agree that a candidate’s interview attire is important

The survey developed by Accountemps was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 2,800 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears every other week as a column in The Journal Gazette's Sunday Business section.

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