My wife is interviewing at a credit union for a teller position. The interviewer specifically mentioned that they want her to wear "business casual". It seemed like an evaluation point.  "You'd be surprised what people think is business casual."

This seems contrary to the good advice I get here.

Do you think there's a chance dressing up will be seen negatively?



mattpalmer's picture

You don't give enough detail for anyone else to be able to tell for sure whether "It seemed like an evaluation point" is an accurate assessment of the situation.  While "You'd be surprised what people think is business casual" certainly *could* be seen as hinting at "we'll be making sure that your idea of business casual matches our idea of business casual", it could also just be an off-hand, light-hearted comment about the strange ideas some people get in their head.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the MT guidance that you should *always* dress in a full suit or equivalent.  I can tell you for a fact that wearing a full suit for an interview at my work *will* lose you serious points (partially because we specify "neat casual" in our interview invites, and partially because there is a strong cultural aversion to working with the sort of people in the IT industry who wear suits).  I *do*, however, agree with the idea that you should be moderately better dressed than the people you'll be interviewing with, and that you should be aware of the dress standards (both for interviewing and ordinary days) in your industry.

The nice thing is that your wife is interviewing for a role which will be in view of the public.  So, I'd recommend your wife goes on a scouting mission to the local branch.  Take a look at the tellers there, for a start, to get an idea of what "everyday dress" is.  Going a few notches up from what they're wearing will probably be OK.  If she can hang around without getting arrested for planning a bank robbery, she can probably spot some of the "behind the scenes" people, too.  That'll give her an even better idea of what the people she will likely be interviewing with wear on a daily basis

maura's picture
Training Badge

Matt Palmer's advice is great, as usual.  In addition, there was a similar discussion a few weeks ago, here:


pvandyck's picture

Thanks for you advice!


My wife decided to dress business casual.    I'll let you know if she gets the job!