What to Wear to an Interview with a Recruiter


Most job seekers know that dressing properly for an interview is important. However, the rules regarding how a person should dress are often fairly vague and, in some cases, simply aren’t helpful at all. Choosing an outfit for an interview with a recruiter can feel even more challenging. While the interview process may be similar, the feel is different than when you interview with an employer directly.

So, once you have an interview appointment with a recruiter, how do you decide what to wear? By considering the following points and adjusting accordingly.

Ignore Dressing for the Job You Want

A classic piece of advice is to dress for the job you want. However, this perspective is actually quite flawed. Dress code standards can vary dramatically between employers and though certain attire is appropriate in the workplace (think lab coats or medical scrubs) wearing those items to an interview wouldn’t be a smart move.

So, unless you are interviewing in a professional office for a job within that environment, you may find other tips more useful in determining what to wear.

Professional Dress

In most cases, those looking for professional business positions, like jobs in finance or management, leaning towards suitable professional dress is ideal. Aim for more conservative outfits in neutral tones. Gray, navy, and tan can all be appropriate and are easier to work into most seasons. Black can also work, but it is important to use it appropriately.

For example, a black trouser and jacket may be more appropriate for a member of a wedding party than a job interview. And solid black outfits can also look quite severe. However, combining black pieces with other neutral colors can make the look more adaptable.

Additionally, accessories need to be more subtle. There can be some color, but it shouldn’t be overly bold. Variations off of the neutral color pattern are suitable, and any jewelry should lean towards classic over fashionable.

Individuals looking for positions outside of more formal business environments can likely shift towards business casual.

Business Casual

Business casual follows similar rules regarding color, though the cuts do not need to be as formal. For example, khakis instead of suit pants are suitable, and you can choose a nice blazer over a suit jacket. Button down shirts and blouses are also appropriate.

Accessories can generally have more color, but keep its use to a minimum. A brightly colored tie or statement necklace may work, but don’t go overboard.

Why You Should Dress the Same for a Recruiter as a Hiring Manager

Regardless of whether you are interviewing with a recruiter or a hiring manager, you should dress the same. Why? Because you never know if a meeting with a recruiter is going to immediately lead to an interview with a hiring manager.

It is always better to plan as though you will get an immediate interview for your dream job. That way, the impression you give the recruiter mirrors what you will show to a hiring manager. It also allows them to evaluate your dress and give advice. Remember, most recruiters have completed hundreds, if not thousands, of interviews. That makes them a wealth of knowledge regarding interview attire and making a strong impression.

If you are interested in working with a recruiter to find your next position, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can give you the insight you need while helping you find suitable positions. Contact us and schedule a meeting with one of our recruiters today.