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Unconventional Interview Attire
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Unconventional Interview Attire

Are you the type of person who likes to be different and would turn up to a job interview in unconventional interview attire? Perhaps you don’t even consider your style of dress unconventional – just more interesting than what other people choose to wear.

Now I would like to say that you should never wear unconventional clothing to an interview, but clearly there are some industries like the fashion industry, which if you were going for particular jobs wearing unconventional clothes would not be frowned upon as long as your look fits in with the company style. However, in the majority of industries or sectors it can count against you if your look is very different from the average.

If you want to stick rigidly to your chosen style knowing that it is generlly different from the other candidates who may be attending, that is entirely up to you as long as you understand the risk of doing so and live with that choice if you learn that the way you looked counted against you.

So what counts as unconventional interview attire? Well of course it's purely subjective – but these are my ideas:-

  • Casual clothing instead of formal clothing – The majority of job interviews require you to wear formal clothing. Turning up in casual clothing can make you look unprofessional.
  • A fashion forward outfit – Might be loved by fashionistas but it’s you who needs to do the talking not a quirky or unusual outfit.
  • Garish clothing – Brightly coloured clothing or highly patterned that almost makes people squint will be distracting and make it difficult for the interviewer to focus.
  • Inappropriate clothing – low cut tops and low waisted skirts or trousers, very short skirts or hot pants or very see through fabrics should not be worn. Being able to see underwear is not a good look.
  • Trainers , flip flops ... – Any sort of casual footwear falls into the unconventional category.
  • Shoes - Extreme heels or highly decorated shoes may get people looking at your feet, but you will look frivolous.
  • Character clothing or accessories – Any item, even something as small as a pair of socks (that might be seen) with a character of any sort on just looks completely inappropriate and you may be judged as frivolous.
  • Excessive jewellery – Flaunting lots of jewellery will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Examples include – oversized earrings, rows of jangling bangles, huge rings, oversized watches. Some people would also say that if you have a lot of piercings that this is also excessive.
  • Unusual make-up – Don’t wear any type of heavy party type makeup or make-up that is associates with a particular style such as goth.
  • Tattoos – No I’m not suggesting you should get rid of your tattoos but there are some professions where it may be wiser to cover them up. Again it’s entirely up to you. If you feel strongly that you should be able to show them and it’s nothing to do with a potential employer – that’s fine. Many don’t mind, but some certainly do. It’s for you to decide if your tattoos could be construed as just too unconventional and whether it matters.

Some people would never choose to conform to an interview dress code believing that it is an affront to even suggest that they should be anything other than themselves when they attend a job interview and should be able to wear what they want. And so you can. But I, who loves to wear unusual clothing would prefer to take a more pragmatic approach. I wouldn’t put my ideal job at risk by wearing something that I knew would be just too radical for the organisation where I had the job interview. You don’t have to change everything about yourself but there may be occasions when it makes sense to tone it down a bit.

Summary

When you’ve been invited for a job interview, you may decide that you have no intention of changing your personal style in anyway however different it is from other people’s and as long as you’re aware of some of the risks that’s entirely your choice. On the other hand you may choose to follow the often unwritten conventions of interview dress codes and if you do, but are unsure of what they are make sure that you take advice and wear the right outfit, so on the day it’s you doing the talking – not your clothes.


Street Talk

C. Hughes  

I've always subscribed to the adage. Dress one level above the job you are interviewing for. So, to interview for an IM job....put on clothes. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for taking the time to comment. That made me smile. I shall remember that adage!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Good Article. I could never understand people getting tattoos where they could not cover them if needed.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn. I don't think some people do understand the risk of their tattoos.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Another great article. Very sensible. Love your closing comment! I agree there is a time and place to express our 'individuality'.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Heather. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Good points! Thanks for the article. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks once again Cynthia. Glad you enjoyed it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Nice article and info

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Kevin, Thanks for taking the time to read and comment

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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