Replacing Dress to Impress with Dress to Respect by Mark Goldman, CPA

This past month we had an industrial employer interviewing for an accounting position at their corporate headquarters.  Several candidates were lined up to interview, and the employer felt that all were qualified to perform the technical duties that were required.    One of the interesting comments that the employer had though was that the candidates had not dressed professionally.  They had dressed casually for the interview instead.

Since the employer is in an industrial field, they did consider the fact that the candidates may have expected a more casual dress code at the company.  However, the comment from the employer was, “They didn’t care enough to dress for  the interview.”  This brings me to the point for this blog…

While workplaces have become more  accepting of casual dress, there are still many employers that consider it a sign of respect to dress professionally for the interview.  Logic may lead you to believe that it wouldn’t be necessary to dress differently for the interview than you would dress to perform the actual job, but unfortunately human nature doesn’t work that way in many cases.  Some of the beliefs employers have about the interview process are:

  • Candidates never try to impress you more than when they are interviewing
  • The level of the candidate’s desire to work at the company is a sign of who may work harder and stay longer with the employer

Therefore, when a candidate doesn’t dress at the level that the employer was expecting for the interview, the employer frequently takes it as a sign of a low level of interest in the position.  And a candidate that ‘could take it or leave it’ generally is not the one that gets the offer from the employer, even if those aren’t their true feelings about the opportunity.

In a nutshell, how you dress for the interview is a sign of respect to the interviewer as well as a sign of how interested you are in the position.  Make sure that your appearance is conveying the message that you wish to convey in the interview.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your job search.

Mark Goldman CPA

Mark sketch blue background (3)

Mark Goldman is the founder of MGR Accounting Recruiters, a San Antonio based recruiting company whose primary business is the placement of accounting professionals in both permanent and contract positions.

Mark graduated from St. Mary’s University in 1992 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. After working for a few years in public accounting, he entered the recruiting industry. In late 2006 he started MGR Accounting Recruiters, which was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in 2010 and 2011. He currently serves on the board for the San Antonio Chapter of TSCPA as President-Elect. Mark received awards for outstanding work as a volunteer with SACPA for the 2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014 chapter years. In addition to his work with the SACPA Chapter, Mark is also involved with Financial Executives International and volunteers with the career transition ministry at his church.

On a personal note, Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, Sayuki Goldman, who owns and manages the business with him. They have a beautiful 9-year-old daughter that is growing up too fast.

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