OfficeTeam Survey Reveals Most Unusual Interview Attire

Oct 21, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Getting ready to meet with a prospective employer? Leave your cat suit, pajamas and crazy hat at home. In a recent survey, OfficeTeam asked human resources (HR) managers to recount the strangest interview outfits they had heard of or seen. Following are some examples:

  • “A blanket worn as a shawl”
  • “A skirt made out of plastic”
  • “A top held up with a big safety pin”
  • “Leather pants and cowboy boots”
  • “Jeans with suspenders”
  • “Spandex”
  • “A cat suit”
  • “A crazy hat”
  • “A braid with pink bows”
  • “A Star Trek T-shirt”

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 670 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

Job candidates should always dress to impress when meeting with employers. Unfortunately, these flashy outfits were more fitting for a night on the town than an interview:

  • “A tube top”
  • “A micromini and fishnet stockings”
  • “A sequined top”
  • “Low waist pants”
  • “A leather vest with no shirt”
  • “A very low cut blouse”

Then there were those who channeled the ’80s with these getups:

  • “A jumpsuit”
  • “Acid-washed jeans”
  • “A tie-dye T-shirt from the ’80s”
  • “A tank top and baggy jeans”
  • “A shirt off the shoulder”
  • “Bright yellow shoes”
  • “Dressing up as a ‘Gothic’”
  • “Green and blue hair”

Perhaps these applicants were simply trying to show “good sportsmanship” by donning the following athletic gear:

  • “A basketball jersey”
  • “A jogging suit”
  • “A baseball cap”
  • “Tennis shoes”
  • “Yoga or exercise clothes”

A confident, relaxed attitude is key during the interview, but these next examples prove that you can be too casual:

  • “A sweatshirt and sweatpants”
  • “A cut-off T-shirt and pants”
  • “Pajamas with slippers”
  • “A bandana and torn jeans”

Interviews can be a “sink or swim” situation, but these job seekers were too literal in their interpretation:

  • “A swimsuit and cover-up”
  • “Bermuda shorts”
  • “A sundress and flip-flops”
  • “A Hawaiian shirt and jeans”

Finally, this wardrobe “don’t” should have been obvious:

  • “An applicant wore the uniform from his former employer.”

“Although these examples seem absurd, it’s easy to make more subtle mistakes when selecting interview attire, particularly among those new to the job hunt,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Ultimately, you want to project professionalism and confidence, and ensure your outfit isn’t distracting or causing employers to question your judgment.”

OfficeTeam offers the following interview attire don’ts and do’s:

Don’t Do
Assume you can “dress down,” even if a company has a very casual atmosphere Err on the conservative side and wear a suit or blazer. If you’re working with a recruiter or HR representative, ask him or her for insight into the dress code.
Wear anything that is uncomfortable Test-drive an outfit to ensure it fits well and makes you feel confident; also dress in layers so you can be at ease regardless of the temperature
Show up in clothing that is wrinkled, stained or torn Pay attention to details and conduct a final head-to-toe assessment before leaving the house to ensure everything — including your hair, nails and shoes — is presentable
Overaccessorize Choose simple jewelry and be subtle with makeup, perfume or cologne

 About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 320 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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