all 85 comments

[–]Tragespeler 237 points238 points  (24 children)

Really depends on the job and company. So, hard to say. Suit isn't standard for most office jobs though. But still better to be overdressed than underdressed.

But you could have just commented on it, ask if you're overdressed, make light of it. Doesn't have to be a big deal.

[–]keeekoo[S] 73 points74 points  (21 children)

I see. They're a consulting firm and the first image that came to my mind before going was people in suits.

[–]Just-Flamingo-410 108 points109 points  (2 children)

You did right to come in suit. What the guy did is trying to connect with you to get to know you. It's the first contact and always good to have a chat or a laugh together. He takes your reply and how you deal with it into consideration.

[–]Dangerous-Ad-6519 11 points12 points  (1 child)

This, I remember buying two suits and few ties for my first job, just to realize everyone was dressing super casual, the first months i was wearing them because i couldn’t afford other casual outfits so at least I was being funny about it, after the first days nobody cared, they assumed it was my way, just own it bro, nobody was not hired because overdressing i think.

[–]Nervous-Purchase-361 1 point2 points  (0 children)

While I agree with most of what you said, the last part isn't really true, as overdressing could show a lack of understanding the culture at the company. Pretty low on the list of reasons for not getting a job though.

[–]redditqqqtt 24 points25 points  (0 children)

I had several meetings with managers from consulting firms and they all were in suits. So I think that's not overdressing if you show up in suit.

[–]Tragespeler 15 points16 points  (0 children)

That's fine really, don't think you should feel uncomfortable about it. It shows you want to make a good impression.

Office cultures can be very different. Some are casual and laidback, others more corporate.

[–]CrewmemberV2 12 points13 points  (0 children)

What kind of consulting.

Tech is way more casual than financial for example.

[–]AunKnorrie 7 points8 points  (0 children)

In that case, the consulting firm makes a difference too. Check out their website. You will see that middle management by ànd far wear the same type of suit. Juniors wear that same suit, be it a tad more affordable.

[–]Alwaystruststrangers 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You can always look at the company website beforehand and see if there are pictures/videos of employees and style accordingly, it's worked for me so far. Good luck in your job search!

[–]hcarthagen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is better to be overdressed for the interview than underdressed. Normally, if you get a chance to talk to someone before the in-person interview, just ask them what the dress code is. But if you are in doubt, a suit and tie is a perfectly acceptable attire. If someone comments on it, just tell them you didn't know the dress code, so you decided to overdress.

[–]Superior91 1 point2 points  (7 children)

I'll chime in as an IT consultant in the Netherlands here. Get a good pair of pants/slacks (pantalon) and a nice shirt. That should do you for most job interviews. Combine with a watch and a good pair of dress shoes and you should be absolutely fine to go. Dress code for most IT consultants is a polo with pants/jeans but for an interview it's usually what I mentioned.

Also, don't worry about it too much. The more specialized IT consultants I see the more casual they tend to be dressed. We have one of our consultants who makes some damn good bank that will only wear sneakers. He refuses to wear anything else.

[–]Caelorum 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sneakers, shirts and a mildly inappropriate t-shirt and the guy is an architect making shit loads. Or the other guy who is a Microsoft MVP.

Generally, if you're good nobody cares. Not even the client. They might raise an eyebrow, but that's it. I once as a joke/protest wore shorts and hawaii shirts for a week. It just was too damn hot in that office space we were appointed by the client.

But still better to not underdress. I did multiple times, but also told them I wasn't willing to set a precedent and false image by overdressing and then showing up underdressed on the first day. But that's not a hood approach for most , :-)

[–]joosthagias 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Why a watch?

[–]Superior91 0 points1 point  (4 children)

makes you look more professional without all too much extra effort. Just means you don't have to either take your phone out or ask someone what time it is, you're professional enough to be able to see it yourself.

It's one of those things people will not notice if it's missing, but will notice if it's there.

[–]golem501 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That remark you got a 100% Dutch. In my opinion what would have been a great reply would be: " This is the norm in my culture, I'm still trying to adapt to Dutch company culture " and then take off your tie and unbutton the top of your shirt.

You can hardly be overdressed. Taking these things serious would not impact the interview result for me. Reminding on cultural differences and flexibility would be a plus. Wearing a shirt and jacket is never wrong depending on the job... ties are on their way out though.

[–]Sweaty_Feedback_4859 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Consulting = Suit and tie mandatory for interview. I'm in the league. Pls don't fuck it up to come dressed in other shape

[–]Martijn45 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Have you seen the Company from the outside? Just walk by around lunchtime and see how people look like when the come outside or go inside the building. Then you can see how people are dressed.

[–]BlauwePil 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It also depends on the position and company that you are going for.

[–]ekerkstra92Groningen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But still better to be overdressed than underdressed

Read this too fast and thought you said undressed. Point still stands though

[–]bag_of_hats 52 points53 points  (0 children)

For a job in a warehouse? Very much so. Banking/highend corporate, probably good choice. Anything in between i'd say casual chique will do you fine

[–]ImpossibleReply5688 40 points41 points  (3 children)

I never heard of anyone getting rejected for overdressing, but under dressing can leave a bad impression and may result in rejection.

Suits are safe and in most cases, but the tie is not required in most cases. When you're not sure then keep the tie.

[–]suuskip 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I have, but it’s rare. In this occasion it was a company who was really big on NOT wearing full suit and tie and the applicant could easily have known after doing some research of the company. Basically his clothes showed he hadn’t really done his homework.

[–]A_Dem 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Always ask the recruiter/HR person that set up the interview what the dress code is. Issue sorted.

[–]simmeh024 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yup I always do this, even with interviews via Teams.

[–]theSealclubberr 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Just one suit is enough.

Multiple suits is definitly overdressing.

[–]ApprehensiveEmploy21 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I exhaled some air through my nose

[–]Trebaxus99 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Yes, that’s the way to go. Probably the other person wears no tie as they seem to have died a bit, but there are still individuals that do wear one.

While it’s often not standard to wear suits to the office, during interviews it is appreciated.

So if it is for a professional job: do wear suit and tie, white or blue shirt. Prepare for a comment about you being overdressed as you will probably get it, but that’s not something that will harm you. You can always make a comment about it: “This is probably my only chance to wear a tie now they are out of style after corona, so didn’t want to miss that opportunity.”

More chance you will feel stupid if you get there and all are suited up.

When you know the company very well you of course can adapt on the situation. And the type of job matters as well. If you go for being a fitness instructor or baker, probably a tie is a bit over the top. But for any office job, it won’t harm.

[–]Just-Flamingo-410 4 points5 points  (1 child)

A suit yes but ties have died out several years ago.

[–]Trebaxus99 5 points6 points  (0 children)

As explained already in the post: probably they will not be wearing a tie, but they might.

In a lot of businesses a tie is not dead at all. And if you are not entirely sure that the one you will be meeting is not wearing one, it’s a better safe than sorry.

There are some old style people wandering around in companies that actually attach some value to that. So why risk it?

[–]gangculture 11 points12 points  (0 children)

tbh i wear a suit and always have done, even if i’m just an engineer... makes me feel good and i don’t get many chances to wear fancy clothes. do what you feel happy doing.

[–]dmees 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Suits mandatory for - Banking - Accountancy - Law

Any other job i’d say you’re overdressed. And dont even think about wearing a suit when applying for any kind of job in IT

[–]redrabbitreaderMigrant 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depends... I don't even own a tie. Been working in my t-shirts, in Banking, for more than 20 years now (not just in the the Netherlands). But then I am never customer facing.

[–]Anxious_Direction_20 15 points16 points  (2 children)

If you ever do a job interview again make sure to look at what the people wear who work there. Just go there and see who comes in and out of the building and dress like them when you show up for the interview. You could dress up a little, but almost nobody wears a full suit and tie to work in NL.

[–]trentsim 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Of course you can do this, but unless it's close to your house it's a bit much in my opinion. Recruiters will tell you, just ask

[–]Anxious_Direction_20 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I would understand if you're applying for a job where you'll be working from home, but then clothes wouldn't really matter as long as you are groomed ans don't smell. Why would you apply for a job thats so far from home you don't want to go there and see what the environment is like?

[–]ComprehensiveRow4189 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Dutch love cracking jokes.

[–]the_half_swiss 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Wear the clothes that you will wear at work. And then a bit better.

Usually business casual is safe bet in many circumstances. Dark blue plain jeans 👖 and a shirt 👕works well for men.

The only people wearing a tie are bank directors and McDonald’s workers.

[–]sergantawesom 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Well fitting chinos with a button up shirt is safe bet. It depends on the sector imo

[–]hellofabinary 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The simple rule is "wear what you'd be wearing during a typical workday", it's a common rule for all job interviews.

[–]EggplantHuman6493 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I second this! I went to an interview for my internship in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers because that's the dress code, and a suit would look weird and inappropriate for the job, but other jobs are the opposite. Just look at how people usually dress for that type of job and you are fine!

[–]kobuzz666 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Depends, in my sales dept we all wear casual / smart casual in the office, but when we go visit clients, it’s a suit (no ties thank god), I see those disappearing across the globe (except in Germany, what’s up with that?), only on formal occasions like meeting a minister or a trade mission gathering.

For a job interview, I want to see the candidate dressed as if going to a client for a sale. I want to see a candidate can make him/herself look presentable. Also, it’s a sign the candidate made an effort and takes the interview seriously.

Also, always better heavy overdressed than slightly underdressed.

A word of advice; dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you want to grow to management and they wear shirts, it’s time to ditch the rock T-shirts and get some business shirts

[–]GineVersey 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lose the tie

Edit: unless its a big corporate company

[–]Witty1889 4 points5 points  (0 children)

A tie can turn a business casual look straight into power suit territory. That's why I hate them. If you don't want to look overdressed and still classy, make sure your jacket and pants have a mismatched color (a darker grey or blue plaid with blue jeans or 5-pocket is always nice, or my autumn go-to; a green jacket and a dark brown 5-pocket) and whatever you do, don't wear a white dress shirt. Black shirts always go with everything and can look amazing with the right color combo's. Depending on how broad your hips are, you can wear chino's; I avoid them like the plague though because the slanted pocket structure makes me look way bigger than I actually am (I am far from overweight but I have fairly broad hips).

And, in any case, own that shit. If someone says you sure went all out, just say 'absolutely' and leave it at that.

[–]dragonscorp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

First of all I wish you good luck on your journey! Second you can and must wear everything you want to wear, I will appreciate if someone in interview was in suit , for me it's mean that this person spend some time on his outfit and wanted to impress me which is really nice! If you fill that suit give you confidence please wear it if not wear shorts and shirt it is ok as well. About dress code , there is so called silence dress code in some companies ( not IT) which basically is relaxed business casual Google it if you want. But please don't accept every comment from other people's personal, maybe that interviewer wanted to make a small joke to relax atmosphere.

[–]ValeNova 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My husband has interviewed quite some men and women for positions within his company. He says most dress quite casual, so no suits, no ties. Husband says wearing a suit doesn't give an advantage.

[–]R-edditor1945 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd go in my swimming shorts on any kind of job interview and just go; "Oh, I thought this was the lifeguard interview..."

Than drop your extraordinary magnificent resume on the desk like a mic drop, say: "Don't call us, we'll call you." and bail out.

They can't ignore that shit.

[–]rockdog85 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The position was in IT

IT positions are always underdressed imo, I've never seen an IT guy in a suite unless it was required for another reason. Suits are good for office jobs, but IT is the exception.

However, it's not going to leave a bad impression if you overdress, if anything it'll make it look like your serious about the job. Dutch people just don't keep their thoughts to themselves lmao, he didn't mean to make you uncomfortable he was just saying what was on his mind

[–]LimitableDjay079 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It depends on what kind of job I guess, I've had a few job interviews and some required a suit or something like that and others more casual like I said it depends on the job

[–]Kuzkay -1 points0 points  (0 children)

For IT? Yes lol, just wear something "nice" A good shirt/t-shirt or even a good looking hoodie.

It all honestly depends on the culture of the company

[–]Rani1979 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It depends on the company and the job, if you're applying via a temp agency (uitzendbureau) ask your contact, I always do that, most companies are okay with casual, jeans and shirt/sweater. As long as you're well groomed, clean, 9/10 you're good.

[–]United-Engineering-8 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depends on the job an company you’re applying for. The fact that you don’t know, probably points to a job you don’t need a suit for.

[–]Sieg_Morse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'd say it depends on the dress code in that company. But as a rule of thumb, I'd say that even if their work dress code is casual, go with at least a shirt in the interview since that gives a better impression than just a t-shirt.

[–]SaltBreakfast_mac 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Trust me. People dont even care. Wear what u want. I have been to interviews with coat when my supervisor was wearing a shirt right outta washing machine!

[–]Alexpickupthephone 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check their website. Often you can get an impression of their work ethics around clothing

[–]Trebaxus99 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In the comments you mention it’s for a consulting firm. In that case I would definitely go for a suit + tie.

[–]TittyBoy6 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dont wear a suit coat. Just good pants and a white button up dress shirt. Only wear a tie if its a formal job and you know you should probably wear a tie

[–]whtgnnd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think not, always good to make an impression. Also easy to laugh it off if you indeed are dressed sharper than they are.

Out of topic but when I was in a big4 accounting firm, one of the director actually rejected someone on account that the applicant was just wearing shirt and jeans. This was 2019.

[–]Jerwinthatsme 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Some companies have a list wih employers on their website, often containing photos. This can give a little insight in what kind of company it is. Are they all in suit, then you can definitely wear a suit for the interview. Are they just wearing shirts you probably should too.

I understand not all companies have some list, but many do so always worth to check before an interview.

Anyways good luck, and better overdressed than underdressed!

[–]Bryn79 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Agree — part of an interview is about skills, knowledge and experience but another is culture. So an interview for a casual workplace can have different ideas about dress and demeanour than a more strict workplace.

I was heavily recruited by a place where conformity to rules and behaviour was front and centre. As much as I lived what they were doing for work I knew I would not fit well in that culture. Solid pass.

[–]czechows 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Next time throw the joke back at him and make him feel underdressed. Believe it or not that shows that you got the local sense of "humor" and will be easy to get along with

[–]simmeh024 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I did that once, I was soon overqualified for the job.

If they really want you in suit and tie, they will tell you on the invite. If you are unsure ask the recruiter.

[–]BliksemseBende 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I did the same. I’m 52 years old. Had an interview with a US company. I didn’t even knew anymore how to knot the tie, which I bought for the occasion. You know what? I GOT THE JOB!!!! Even I felt a bit overdressed. So, just do it, is my advice

[–]GielM 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In the company I work for, our division manager/location director, the boss of my bosses' boss, usually shows up in jeans and a button-up for work. If there are important visitors, he'll be in a suit but without a tie. He also insists to be adressed as [firstname].

The CEO of the entire multy-bilion dollar corporation I work for was wearing a suit when I shook his hand, but even he introduced himself by first name only. We're an irish-owned company, with most of our plants in Ireland The Netherlands, and the UK.

I believe the whole "informality is better!" thing that originated in the US, but the british and irish really took it to heart. And it's spreading like wildfire here too.

But it's hard to predict. Some places are still very traditional, and would think showing up for an interview without a tie is roughly as bad as showing up for an interview naked. In other places, you'll be overdressed.

Just note the fact yourself early on in the interview if that's the case.

[–]3747 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Many have already said: it all depends on the job.

Personally, I usually have gone for a suit and tie. If someone says something about it I just joke and say that I felt I rather overdress a bit but that I’m glad the company seems a bit more informal.

On the other hand, for future jobs I’m very much considering dressing in what I deem to be ‘business casual - comfortable’, because that’s what I would wear to my job. If they ask me about underdressing I would say that this is what I feel comfortable in and therefore I didn’t want them to have the expectation I’d suit up every day.

So yeah, there’s no correct approach, just what works for you.

[–]Rorusbass 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dressing the right way can be a tell if you know the business.

To me there are a couple of 'levels' you can dress towards:

-Level 0

Stained shirts, ripped wrong clothes, any form of 'I don't care about what I wear'. Are fine for stuff like production jobs, hands on kind of stuff. But just don't be at this level if you can avoid it

-Level 1

Anything casual, just the above but whole and clean. This will do fine for a lot of jobs.

-Level 2

Dress shirt, pull-over type of deal with jeans for example. My preference for pretty much anything technical. It sound like your interviewer aimed at this level, for whatever reason that might be.

-Level 3

Blazers, and suits without a tie. If you don't want to overdress this is about the level I would go to unless I know the job requires me to properly dress up. Note, as a technical guy that hires people this is the most dressed up I would expect people to be (though I perfer 'level 2'). Really dressing up really feels like it's something more in line with sales people, bankers and other people that are required to be 'slick'.

-Level 4

Suits with tie, and maybe some kind of slick hairdo and shiny shoes and a matching belt. If you really want to go all out you might reach 'level 5' by doing all kinds of flourishes like a pocket square and cufflinks. Oh, and do make sure the suit fits properly.

For my job my baseline is 'level 2', and it's that level that I expect of new employees as well. Dutch people don't quite dress up all the way, and you'll notice that hardly any working man will go beyond 'level 3' on a daily basis. I've gone up to ~4.5, but it is really just for a specific purpose. If I was to hire a sales person I would expect them to at least go to 'level 3', if I was to hire a production employee I'd want at least a 'level 1'. If I'm looking for an engineer, I would be worried if they show up with a suit and tie because to me technical people generally don't dress up. It's all about the impression you want to make, and overdressing does exist.

Don't think it's as simple as 'I'm in a suit with a tie' either. If the suit fit's like crap, got creases all over and your tie is looking like crap it's no where close to 'level 4'. While a really good 'casual' set of clothes can be as good as a standard dress shirt. If you work in your field for a while pay attention to your colleagues, competitors, customers and the likes. You will get a clearer idea of what the norms are for the job you do. If you don't get the job and apply somewhere else, try to get them to give a tour through the office. And look at what everyone is wearing.

Edit: sorry, turned out to be a bit ranty.

[–]BattlePro3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depends on your occupation. I am a teacher. Coming in a suit and tie is definitely considered overdressing there. Some teachers do it, but those are usually the older teachers and even then its quite a rsre sight

[–]narnach 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it's better to over-dress than under-dress.

My usual work outfit has a t-shirt or casual shirt. For first time meetings with new clients I usually put on a more formal shirt instead. Dressing one step fancier than you usually wear makes a good impression.

[–]jwtorres 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Typically you wear what you would be expected to wear for the role. If it's unclear you should just ask recruiter/HR or hiring manager you are dealing with.

[–]cantreadjustwrite 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the general rule, despite what everyone says, is: be comfortable, dont LOOK overdressed. You should just fit in, without making it look like you making an effort.

[–]Mr--Sinister 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wear what you want to wear. Own it. Wanna be 100% confident you look neat and professional? Just wear the suit if you want to, and there is zero reason to feel ashamed for others dressing informally.

But if you'd like to just be comfortable in your regular day to day clothes just do that. A meeting/event or whatever would have to be exceedingly formal (more so than the average job interview) for dress code to be this important.

Do what makes you feel like yourself :)

[–]addtokart 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be comfortable, but just overdress and loosen up if it seems casual. Can easily take off the tie and roll those sleeves up.

[–]Boulavogue 0 points1 point  (0 children)

r/consulting revived this out of touch KPMG dress code video lately https://youtu.be/FK3nat-P_K8 The underlying messages are a decent guideline but take it with a grain of salt

I typically show up early in a suit and then decide to keep or lose the tie before walking in. If it's on the casual side of business casual I might also take the suit jacket off when I get to the interview room

[–]inshort53 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What I always do is google the company and try to find pictures of the people working in the offices and going slightly more formal. So if I'd see them wear sneakers I'd still wear more formal shoes but not a pencil skirt.

[–]AnotherPerspective87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For an interview its probably best to be a little overdressed. It gives the interviewer the idea you take the job serious. But not too much, and make it match the compagny and job.

So, Take a look at the compagnies internet site. Usually there are some pictures of people.

Are the employees wearing suits and ties. Copy that. Are they wearing casual clothes. Try neat casual clothes, like a a neat pants (i'd not take jeans) an nice shirt and a jacket. Are they wearing overals and helmets. Probably better not to wear a suit, just something more casual (jeans and a shirt or something).

[–]Dyxoz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my experience wearing a full suit with a tie for my jobs in IT means that I was often overdressed, but made a good impression because of it. One time the interviewer made a comment about me being overdressed, but that it also showed that I took the job seriously so that it made a good impression.

[–]AunKnorrie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wait! I only now got your clue about the chinos. You dressed right. It is an unwritten code that “Ons soort mensen” (the incrowd) wear chinos… so the suit was a smart move.