Tie or no tie? What to wear on an intrerview?

I have an interview coming up at a huge American corporation. Some friends and family think it is a bad idea that I don’t plan to wear a tie. I want to look like the designer I am not an accountant (sorry accountants). How should I dress?

News Flash…you can wear a tie and still look like a designer. True, I do not wear one that much, but there is a time and a place. More important is dressing to show depth and understanding. Can you hit fashion marks? colors? styles? Being aware of fashion trends helps you to be a better designer.

If it is a big company, call the HR department and inquire to the general company dress code. Simple rule would be to dress one level up from that dress code. Example, if the dress code is shirt and pants, you add a sharp blazer. Make sense?

Unless you come in a tux, it’s hard to overdress for an interview. Even if a shirt and tie, or even a suit for that matter, are a little too much there are very few people out there who think, “My God! This kid is way too uptight to work here because he wore a suit to our interview.” Wear what best suits, no pun intended, you as a professional designer.

I’ve gone into an interview with suit pants, nice shoes, and shirt in tie.

Later I was hired.

However, across the table, they were sitting in sandals, shorts, and casual button down shirts (with one or two buttons open I believe). After working together for a few weeks, they admitted they were glad I wasn’t a stiff, and said they were actually weary about hiring someone who came into their office dressed like I had been.

Then again, I’ve worn a suit before.
And I’ve worn khakis, shirt with one button opened, etc.

I’ve been told by one company that they would prefer to see someone come in with a tie dye Grateful Dead shirt, jeans, and sandals-- and would tell someone wearing a tie to turn around. I don’t suggest following this dress code for 99.8% of jobs, but for them, that was the ticket.

It all depends on the persons hiring you, do your research, ask HR.

To be blunt, anyone who claims there is a Yes or No answer to this question is incorrect.

You can always ask recruiter or HR representative what the dress code is at the ‘huge American corporation’.
If West Coast, sans-tie is de rigueur. I have heard of occasions where candidates have been asked to remove their tie in an interview for West Coast positions. Puts everyone at ease.

If you show up like this guy, you might not get hired…

Awesome, this is my new desktop

Main reason to avoid bow ties: they accentuate the ears instead of the penis.

Good idea. Dress codes vary. Many large corporations have become “casual” (kakis and polos or button downs). It doesn’t hurt to know your audience as much as you can. At an athletic company, when someone comes in with a tie, it does make some people a bit cautious.

I once met with a potential client where I went designer chique (dress jacket, white button down, nice jeans, and a nice pair of dress shoes). The meeting happened to be on Friday, which was pretty casual. I met with their design team, who was pretty casual and then I met with the VP of creative. I kid you not, he was wearing cut-off jean shorts and an old white shirt.

There’s nothing wrong with dressing up but I would make sure you dress up like a designer and not an accountant. Esquire and GQ always have suit and style guides, read up and they’ll give you some pretty good tips.

I learned my lesson when I went to an interview out of school wearing tailored pants and dress shirt, and nice shoes, only to meet the design director who was wearing jeans with huge holes and a Steelers Jersey.

yup I know that feeling I think I’ve only worn my suit to an interview once…it was the first one I had…never again

while we’re on the topic of dress for interviews and a lot of people are talking about wearing blazers and such, does anyone know any good sites for blazers?

I know this has been covered at length a while back in a another thread, but here’s my 0.02$ worth-

It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. Your clothing should communicate some aspect of your personality and style, like it or not is part of design.

I’ve worn just about everything to an interview from jeans and t-shirts to suits, blazers and ties.

I’d say a suit is definitely not something to count out, but the style of the suite is very important. Off the rack Brooks Brothers, maybe not. Nice, slim, Band of Outsiders or Helmut Lang, why not.

Myself, I always try to have something a bit different in my way of dressing/accessorizing to help my personality stand out and have something in addition to my portfolio to remember me by. It shouldn’t be gimmicky (no t-shirts with a picture of yourself on them), but something different can go a long way. Bow-tie, why not? vintage tux? giant flower on the lapel?

Of course, everything already said about fitting the atmosphere of the company also goes, but I always err on the side of overdressed and stylish, than bland, lowest common denominator…


Wear a suit but make sure you keep your personality. Don’t let the close brainwash you.

best reference EVER for style that is unique but not too boring or over the top-

hands down, awesomeness.


I think the Sartorialst would agree that it is not what you wear, but how you wear it. So if you can wear a tie and not look like an accountant or the keyboard guy from Huey Lewis and the News (unless that is what you are going for), then go for it.



Just be yourself, look professional and comfortable. Your actions and personality will set the tone for everything else. And style is a fine line , REPOST

I try to figure out what they wear in the office you are applying at and dress one step nicer than that. (but no tuxes or prom dresses of course)