I thought I’d address this common query when it comes to applying for a low ranking position within a company.
Do you really need to put on a suit and tie when applying for a ‘first timer’ role within an organization that doesn’t have a specific dress code? Won’t I look overdressed wearing my Sunday best to an interview with the nearest fast-food company?
My answer is simple: always dress smart and formal.
I understand the apprehension. Many people want to emulate the corporate culture when making their first impression; trying to say, “I fit with this organization and its values” without verbalizing it. Sometimes a suit simply feels like an incongruous match.
However, when all is said and done, the occasion you’re dressing for is an interview.
This is your audition, and you need to impress upon your prospective employer a positive attitude through your highly attuned attire. You need to be expressing your willingness for the position, and those who turn up in jeans and a tee-shirt are demeaning the role before they’ve even begun (“I’ll only be passing out mail around the office, so what’s the point in getting all dressed up?!”).
Although you don’t necessarily need the full regalia, the least you should be aiming for is freshly laundered clothing, smart formal shoes, clean trimmed hair and a positive attitude.