Applicant dress styles

April Showers ruined my view of applicants by the email thread. So, I thought I would retaliate by asking you all about applicant dress styles.

When did it become okay to come to an interview for a bank teller position dressed in jeans and a cropped shirt?

Or, the person who came in to fill out an application wearing a spagetti strap top that didn't cover her plaid bra straps and short shorts that were too small for my 8 year old!!!! 8-|

How does "applicant dress code" compare at your businesses?



  • 27 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Slightly changing the topic. I once had an applicant show up with their hair in rollers because they had a "hot" date that night.
  • I believe I've already told the story of the applicant who brought her baby to the interview, then proceeded to breastfeed while answering my questions.
  • Even tho our ads state we have pre-application screening (in other words, we're going to look at and talk to you to decide if you even get to apply)we still get exposed pierced belly buttons, flip flops, short shorts, tank tops, and spaghetti straps. I know we're a casino, and folks may perceive it as a casual atmosphere, but my goodness I don't know of any job, save a lifeguard, who gets to wear flip flops!
  • Two recent applicants come to mind. The young lady in neon orange, skin-tight spandex pants and a matching crop top with "HOTTIE" in sequins across her chest and another young lady wearing shorts with a t-shirt that said "Good girl gone bad". Neither made the cut.

    Anne in Ohio
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 04-11-03 AT 11:50AM (CST)[/font][p]I can't believe I forgot this one (but it was years ago)...a buxom young woman with a t-shirt that had "F--- You" emblazoned across her chest. Wow. x:o
  • I once went on an interview where the interviewer complained to me (the candidate) about other candidate's dress and that he was happy to see that I dressed appropriately. He stated, 'people come in here with boots and jeans that both have holes in them to interview'. Glad I made the cut....
  • I knew it was a mistake when we moved into our new building and my office was positioned so that I no longer see applicants coming into the office!!
  • Time was I would interview no one unless they were at least dressed in a sportcoat and slacks or other appropriate dress. Received an education while I was recruiting for licensed limited energy electricians, however. They are so scarce (the licensed ones) that if they showed up AT ALL they were 90 percent of the way to getting the job. It was in that position that I learned to "dress down" a bit when interviewing some of the skilled trades.
  • One young lady came to her interview with a Sesame street lunch box and a superman shirt with a cape.

    I think it was the cape that did it for me. We hired her. She turned out to be a really sweet, honest, hard working, unusual person.


  • We have a casual dress policy being a manufacturing organization. Once when hiring a purchasing agent, a candidate came wearing docker-style pants and a golf shirt. He was neat and clean. The hiring manager would not consider him because he came dressed as if it was "Saturday Night Fever", in his words.

    We hired the guy who came dressed in a suit and tie. Of course, he commanded a higher salary. I argued that we should hire Mr. Casual since he was dressed consistent with our policy and we could get him for a lower salary. When it came it job knowledge, they were pretty much equal. Well, we ended up hiring the suit for about $10k a year more.
  • Zanne,
    I don't know how some of you make it through the interviews you have described!Lucky for me I don't do any of the interviewing!! I just sort through the resumes for managers to help them get through the pile faster.

    I just spent time with my girlfriend at the department store this week looking at business suits, shoes etc. for her upcoming interviews. It's amazing how much time and $ she is putting into making the right first impression, but it's even more amazing that some people just don't care at all!

  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 04-11-03 AT 12:48PM (CST)[/font][p]April Showers:
    In answer to your question, I would much rather do an interview than paperwork. People are what make the job for me. And if some of these interviews weren't unusual, what would I talk about. I know no one who really cares about ERISA etc. Therefore, I am not making through the interviews, I enjoy them. (Did I just change the topic slightly again?)

  • We would work great together then! I love paperwork!
  • I'm in banking also. We interview on the spot when possible. I have come to like seeing people when they do not expect an interview. People who show up in inappropriate clothing (like the t-shirt described elsewhere)say one thing and the ones who come in jeans but apologize profusely and ask if they may go home and change, tell me something else. I will never understand the one's who bring a group with them (do we get them all for one salary?) or especially the one's who bring their little friends with them - I had one bring a two-foot iguana who climbed the drapes and started eating the plants.
  • Our workforce is prettty "counter culture" so odd hair coloration and facial piercings are not extremely unusual. Shorts are okay too. Once I was interviewing an applicant for a position in HR and she asked me, "What's the dress code here?" Without missing a beat I replied, "No full frontal nudity." Her eyes bugged out for about two seconds, then we both laughed our heads off. I knew she would fit in!
  • typically our applicants come for their interview well dressed. However at a former job I was lucky if they had taken a shower that day! (It was a manufacturing environment back then.)
  • I work in a long term care facility for children and we have a casual dress code. We get applicants whose dress embarrasses me. I love the new low rider pants that reveal way too much of their backside for me. I had one last week where I could actually see most of her underwear from the back. I too have had them show up in curlers and bedroom slippers and with their kids. Evidently, these people have never heard of first impressions. I was always taught to dress nicely no matter what the job.
  • I guess jeans and a cropped shirt aren't so bad after all!
  • Perhaps you are right about the jeans and cropped shirt not so bad.

    Perhaps I've gone over to the "older generation" with my disapproval of showing belly buttons, bra straps, and thong underwear with low rider jeans.

    Argh! I'm becoming my mother!

  • Don't too be hard on yourself Zanne. I'm under 30 and considered a member of "Gen X" but I can't stand the way people come dressed to apply and interview. They should teach a required class in school about proper dress attire and interviewing skills. We are not getting old- we're just an endangered species called "professionals".

    Does anyone send people away from interviews if they don't come properly dressed?
  • No, but they get my "express interview!"

    Margaret Morford
  • >>Without missing a beat I replied, "No full frontal nudity."

    What if I bring a note from my doctor?

  • Hmmm...if you can provide a doctor's note explaining the medical necessity of full frontal nudity, I'd sure like to see it (the note, that is).

  • But what if their frontal nudity makes other employees sick and they bring doctor's notes?

    Margaret Morford
  • I think this thread has gotten WAY off the beaten track! x;-)
  • I am actually used to the girls showing up in "butt hanging out" shorts and cropped t-shirts with phrases more suited for an eight year old. The one I will never forget is the guy that showed up with a sweatshirt that had a small phrase on the top (can't remember what it said) but then had two big phrases underneath. The phrases were normal letters but they didn't spell anything. Call me dumb but I asked him if it was Greek or something. Right in front of me he folded the shirt bottom up and right there it was "F... Y..". Gee, how cute. He's been with us for almost four years now. The only thing I ever hear about him is how funny and nice he is to everyone and a hard worker to boot.
  • So does he work in HR? See the thread of "Paging Drew Carey" - I think he'd fit in!

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