My grandpa and dad always told me to wear a tie to interviews but I’ve noticed few young men do so these days. When did the rules change? Should I wear a tie to interviews?
I’m guessing based on your question that you are too old to get an interview anyway, so why worry?
— Evil Skippy
Ouch. That one stung even me.
Speaking as someone of a certain age (60 is pretty certain, right?), I have vast experience about things changing (and about not getting interviews even for jobs I once held). I cringe when I hear myself telling some young whippersnapper, “I remember back when. . . .”
Ties are not as universal as they once were. Beards were gone and now they’re back. Spandex shows up in board rooms. Carbon paper? What’s that?
In answer to your question, my usual advice for both men and women is to check out the prospective workplace before an interview to see what folks wear there. It’s kind of like stalking but it’s for professional research so it’s not creepy. After you do your research, aim to dress slightly more formal than the work group. If you want to wear a tie or a dress and wearing it gives you confidence, wear the tie or the dress. (However, if you are a man and want to wear a dress, that would be a whole different blog post. Maybe in 50 years it won’t be a big deal, but in 2018 a man in a dress at an interview will garner some attention. Whether that attention is good or bad depends on the job).
The key things are to dress as if you already have the job and to exude confidence. If you get too worried about what you are wearing, you will bomb instead of exuding confidence – so don’t worry.
Easier said than done for some people. Good luck and, if you want, tie one on.
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