This piece of job career advice may shock and amaze some executive recruiters and so called HR experts. However there are some cases when it may actually pay to dress down for your next six figure job interview. The classic line and traditional job career advice for dressing appropriately for a job interview has always been to wear a suit and tie. While this still may apply for many jobs and many areas regardless of it is a 6 figure job there are areas and companies where you could be at a disadvantage by overdressing for the occasion.
To clarify, if you are going to an interview for a six figure executive job in cities like New York or London you are expected to wear a suit and tie and show up looking immaculate. In these cases you certainly want to follow the line and look the part, no questions asked. There are other jobs still where you may never wear a suit or a tie for every day work but it is expected at the interview and the only logical job career advice is that you should again of course comply.
However there are certain circumstances when wearing a suit and tie can work against you in you six figure job interview. In some areas, for example in South Florida and parts of California those executives who are really successful will never (or extremely rarely) lumber themselves with a suit and tie. For them, those candidates wearing a suit are often young novices who are trying to look successful to impress others instead of actually being successful enough to dress how they feel comfortable. If you are familiar with the company you are going to be interviewing with for your new six figure job and can visit for a bit of reconnaissance prior to your 6 figure job interview or already know how the executives dress you can tailor your dress that day to fit in.
CEOs and executives like people like themselves who look like they like the same things and will fit in. This does not mean shorts and flip flops, but perhaps designer jeans and dress shirts. This certainly also does not mean that your shoes can’t be $200 Kenneth Coles with a $500 shirt. Dress for success! The bottom line is to fit in with the status quo and give the appearance that you belong. If in doubt then definitely wear the suit, though a little corporate intelligence can go a long way. Good luck getting that six figure job!
Tim Houghten has been a business owner, HR specialist and executive recruiter for over ten years and now as a consultant and freelancer writer he writes for The Career Advice Column where executives come for job search advice and to find the best sources for $100k plus jobs.