The Industrial Job Interview, Overdressed? Or Underdressed?

What do you wear to a job interview? It’s an eternal question, no matter your field. 

It’s a particularly tough question for jobs on a factory floor, an oil rig, or another setting where the day-to-day dress code is safety – not a suit. At the same time, you are still about to attend a job interview. You want to convey your professionalism through your clothes. 

So, what should you do? Walk into the meeting while knowingly underdressed or risk the stares that come with being overdressed? There’s happy medium. Here’s what to wear to your industrial job interview. 

Ask Your Staffing Agency or Recruiter 

If you worked with a staffing agency or recruiter to secure the interview, turn to your contact first. 

They will know the HR team already and can give you pointers based on experience. Your recruiter won’t lay your outfit on the bed for you, but they will tell you if a tie is required or whether you should avoid wearing a suit at all costs. 

Use the Company Website and One-Up Them 

Visit the company website to get a feel for the management’s vision for their company culture. Do you see people in the photos wearing jeans at company events? Then, wear khakis or slacks (but not dress pants). Do people seem to wear button-up shirts and slacks to work or work activities? Consider wearing dress pants with a shirt and tie. 

Remember, your goal is to look like you made an effort, and you take your job seriously. At the same time, you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, so leave anything you might wear to a wedding or funeral in your closet. Additionally, leave any funny t-shirts or other statement items at home. They can be distracting, and you want your experience – not your clothes – to speak for you.  

Focus on Grooming 

In your job, you will focus more on your PPE than whether your belt matches your shoes. However, grooming says a lot about you, and you should consider focusing more on looking clean over anything else. 

Washed and combed hair, a clean shave or tidy of your beard, and deodorant all go a long way. Cleaning up says that you care about the details. If you look like you just got out of bed, you present yourself as someone who is often sloppy and late – two personal characteristics that are risky for the whole team in your profession. 

Casual Doesn’t Mean Unprofessional 

Unless you work in management, you won’t wear a suit every day. You might not even own one, and that’s okay. But just because the clothes you wear day-to-day on the floor or in the field are casual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look professional at an interview. 

Smart casual is the name of the game when attending industrial interviews. If you are new to the job market or haven’t interviewed in a while, don’t be afraid to ask Energi Personnel for help. We are rooting for your success.