Are Suits Now Unsuitable For Job Interviews?

Toronto, ON — While casual dress codes are gaining ground, some employers expect more polish when meeting with job applicants, new research from global staffing firm Accountemps shows. In a survey of senior managers, 33 per cent of respondents said candidates should always wear a formal suit when interviewing for a job; a similar percentage (37 per cent) felt proper interview attire depends on the position or department at the company.

Almost all respondents agreed that how someone dresses is important during the job interview: 40 per cent reported it’s very important, and 49 per cent said it’s at least somewhat important. Not surprisingly, the research also shows recommended job interview attire varies by industry: suits are more often preferred in finance, insurance and real estate (44 per cent) than construction (21 per cent) or retail (23 per cent).

View an infographic for details on suitable interview attire.

“When it comes to a job interview, the old adage ‘dress for the job you want’ should still apply,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps, a division of Robert Half. “Use your interview attire as an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the corporate environment and are serious about the role. A polished outfit that aligns with the company’s culture will help to distinguish you as professional, capable and a positive fit with the organization.”

Look at the company website, ask your professional network or seek advice from local recruiters to gauge your clothing choices prior to the interview,” added Vasilopoulos. “Confidence is tangible. The better you feel about how you look going into the meeting, the better the impression you’ll leave on a potential employer.”

Vasilopoulos noted, “Hiring managers may want to eliminate any uncertainty leading into the interview by letting candidates know the suggested attire ahead of time. This way, the focus remains on having an engaging and effective meeting where all parties can assess if there’s a good match between the applicant, the role and the company.”

For more advice on how to dress appropriately for and ace a job interview, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees across Canada.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at