This is an issue that comes up all too frequently when interviewing candidates at Pronexia.

You’ve wowed the recruiter over the phone and you’ve expressed an interest in the role on offer. We eagerly arrange a time to meet with you and wait anxiously for our designated meeting time. We brag to our colleagues that we’ve found the perfect candidate. We find a way to slip your name into any conversation that comes up concerning the related job opening. It’s as if the stars have aligned; everything is falling perfectly into place.

And then you show up in pajamas.

Truthfully, we haven’t yet had a candidate show up in pajamas. But we’ve had candidates show up in yoga pants, hoodies, sweatshirts, sneakers, hair that hasn’t been brushed or washed in over a week, dripping in cologne (or not enough cologne), chewing gum and smelling strongly of smoke. And trust me, when you show up dressed like this, you may as well just have worn your pajamas.

Obviously, it all depends on the role that you’re interviewing for. If the role is very client facing and fashion related, then it makes sense that you should dress accordingly. If your industry is known to be very casual and you rarely need to leave the office, a hoodie and jeans isn’t going to be a deal-breaker. 

What a candidate chooses to wear is very rarely a deal-breaker for us. Part of our job is to help prep you for an interview with our client; we’ll tell you when you need to wear a suit and tie, or when you need to make sure you’re not overdressed.

But often, when we mention interview attire to a candidate who is unprofessionally dressed, we’ll almost always get the same reply: “oh, but I was only coming to interview with you – of course I wouldn’t wear this to a client!”

I’m not really sure what this is meant to mean, and I’m never quite sure how to react to this comment. Our clients hire us to find the rare gem they couldn’t find alone – to make sure they only meet with the best of the best.

I can assure you, the best of the best have always shown up impeccably presented (or at least, business casual) to an interview with their recruiter.

Not sure what to wear to your next interview? Ask us – we’ll gladly give you some tips!
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