Varying Attire for a Third Interview


Patty writes:
Hello I am going for my third visit to a prospective position. This will be the
third time meeting with the director and the reason for the third visit is so she
can make sure I meet co-workers. The last few people were not a good fit. I
wore the same suit w/different shell the first two times and am wondering if it
would be appropriate to wear a long skirt and blouse to meet the co-workers.
I really don’t want to wear the same suit a third time to meet the same director.
The dress in this counseling setting is casual but professional.


The Career Doctor responds:
First let me congratulate you for getting this far in the interviewing process…
a job offer sounds like it is forthcoming as soon as you pass this last “test” of fit.
I’m sure the hiring manager already has a good sense that you will fit but it is
important that your future co-workers find you acceptable.
If you’ve read my column or articles in the past you know that I always believe
in erring on the conservative side so my advice would be to wear the suit
perhaps with a new blouse and not worry about the director really noticing
that it’s the same suit three times running.
On the other hand because fit is important for this visit you don’t want the
prospective co-workers to think you are trying to upstage them by wearing a
suit when their attire is more casual.
So you have two options. First wear the suit. You are job-hunting and the suit is
the outfit of choice. I don’t believe the co-workers nor the director will be put off by
it. Second call either the director (or her assistant) or someone from human resources and pose the question to that person.
If you do call and ask don’t frame it as “I only have one suit so what should I do?”
But instead “I want to make a good impression on my future co-workers and called
to solicit your advice on what type of outfit would be best to wear to meet them.”
Asking about attire can actually add to your status as someone who wants to fit
in with the organization.
For other issues related to how to dress for interviews read my article
When Job-Hunting:
Dress for Success
published on Quintessential Careers.