Suits you! Do you still need to wear a shirt and tie for a job interview?

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Max Parry

By Max Parry

Published: 11/04/2022

- 05:58

Updated: 11/04/2022

- 05:58

Three out of four employers still expect interviewees to wear formal attire when applying for a job

Most employers still believe job applicants should wear suits to an interview, although a minority said it would count against a candidate, new research suggests.

Three out of four of 1,000 employers surveyed by recruiter Randstad said wearing a suit was acceptable, but one in nine replied they would think less of a candidate if they turned up wearing a formal jacket and trousers.

Office workers in central London.
Office workers in central London.
Philip Toscano

The study followed news that the traditional men’s suit was removed from the basket of goods used to calculate the annual inflation rate.

Victoria Short, chief executive of Randstad UK, said: “The uniform that has served professionals for a century is falling out of favour.

“While most of us instinctively feel that wearing a full suit for work feels a little too formal now, we were expecting it to last a little longer in the interview setting.

“But in some industries, the suit is already becoming a relic of a bygone era. Overly smart is now considered fusty.

“Interviews, even for desk jobs, are merely reflecting reality. The rise of dress-down tech entrepreneurs has undermined the suit’s position as a signifier of success.

“The pandemic hasn’t killed off formal clothes completely – the suit is still fine for the majority of interviews, but if you’re interviewing with an organisation that’s not a suit sort of a place, I’d go for ‘the broken suit’ – chinos and a shirt. Smart separates are the way forward.”

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