Should We Dress to Impress on a Startup Job Interview?

How we dress to a startup job interview can be tricky. Startups are well-known for their casual attire. However, is it appropriate to wear a T-shirt and shorts to get the position you are applying for? If the startup is super casual, you might be fine. But, what if they aren’t?

Of course, your first impression should shows that you could easily fit into the startup culture. But remember, you are not part of them yet. You should still dress to impress, showing them how much you are determined to get this specific job at their startup.

Here are how you can still possibly dress to impress on a startup job interview:

  1. Determine what to wear by the role you are applying for

There are positions which require you to dress well, but not for most of the startup positions. Consumer and enterprise startups are also two different things, including the way they dress. At a consumer startup, you certainly could go casual and nobody complains. While enterprise startup requires a more formal attire. If you are applying for a client-facing role, you should dress in something you would typically wear when meeting a client.

However, both kind of startups will not pay attention on how you dress if you are up for an engineering role. Engineers are free to wear anything as long as they can get the job done. Yet, it doesn’t mean you should look like a slob for the important job interview.

  1. Casual chic

This term means you could still look professional while dressing down, because basically it is dressed up from casual look. It is a safe option for your dressing to a startup job interview. For example, wear a collared shirt with the top button undone along with dark-coloured jeans. You can wear those with a sports jacket and shoes.

In terms of fashion, there might be a double standard to describe casual chic. If the example works for men, women are different. Women need to look smart and professional, especially on a job interview. The bar is higher for them. Thus, in order to look like they are on top of their game, women should wear a more preppy look to a startup job interview.

3. Don’t smell

Surprisingly, not many startup founders will literally notice your look, since they don’t care what they wear either. Nevertheless, they would notice if you smell. It is important for you to smell good, or don’t smell at all. No matter how casual startups are, they need to stay focus on getting things done, and someone with bad odor could distracts the focus.

4. Be yourself

If you like a startup very much, you could do some research about the way their employees dress. Follow their common way of dressing, and surely you can impress them. However, startup environment encourages its employees to be authentic.

Still showcase yourself to represent what you have to offer to this specific startup. Wear what that shows who you are.


Next read: Why You Should Work for a Startup than a Corporate Company

Article contributed by Startup Jobs Asia‘s Team.

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