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How to dress for an interview: Err on the side of caution

A company's dress code is one of the many aspects individuals have to determine as they are preparing for their interviews. As startup culture continues to grow, an increasing number of businesses are relaxing their dress codes, Matthew Kosinski of explains. Reflecting on his interview with, Kosinski offers the following advice regarding dress codes to candidates. 

Kosinski emphasizes that dress code definitions vary a lot between companies. While a company may instruct its employees to dress "business casual," it is still up to the interviewee to assess how he should dress for the meeting. Moreover, whereas for some companies, "business casual" means opening up your top button, in other companies, it refers to slacks and a collared shirt. 

If interviewees ask the company for instructions regarding dress, employers should be as specific as possible. For instance, describe what your employees typically wear to the office, and if you want the interviewee to dress more formally, offer advice for that as well. 

However, given that instructions are often vague or not given, it is up to the interviewee ultimately to determine appropriate attire.

It is always better to err on the side of caution. For interviewees, this means choosing to dress formally rather than informally. For men, this entails slacks, a collared shirt, jacket and dress shoes. For women, formal dress includes these clothes or a knee-length skirt, if they prefer.

While interviewees may find themselves overdressed compared to the company's employees or even their interviewers, this is to be expected. As a general rule, interviewees dress more formally than employees at the company.