What not to wear: Survey reveals most unusual interview attire

In a recent survey, OfficeTeam asked human resources managers to recount the strangest interview outfits they had heard of or seen.

Following are some examples:

    -  "A blanket worn as a shawl"
    -  "A skirt made out of plastic"
    -  "A top held up with a big safety pin"
    -  "Leather pants and cowboy boots"
    -  "Jeans with suspenders"
    -  "Spandex"
    -  "A cat suit"
    -  "A crazy hat"
    -  "A braid with pink bows"
    -  "A Star Trek T-shirt"

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 670 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

Job candidates should always dress to impress when meeting with employers. Unfortunately, these flashy outfits – a tube top, a micro-mini and fishnet stockings, a leather vest with no shirt – were more fitting for a night on the town than an interview.  

Some applicants channelled the 80s, showing up in jumpsuit, acid-washed jeans, a tie-dye T-shirt, while others sported green and/or blue hair. Others were perhaps to show "good sportsmanship" by donning the following athletic gear,

A confident, relaxed attitude is key during the interview, but cut-offs or  pyjamas and slippers were a bit too casual. And, while interviews can be a "sink or swim" situation, job seekers who were too literal in their interpretation, showed up in a swimsuit and cover up, or a sundress and flip flops, or a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

Finally, this wardrobe "don't" should have been obvious. One HR responded to the survey noting: "An applicant wore the uniform from his former employer."

"Although these examples seem absurd, it's easy to make more subtle mistakes when selecting interview attire, particularly among those new to the job hunt," says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Ultimately, you want to project professionalism and confidence, and ensure your outfit isn't distracting or causing employers to question your judgment."

OfficeTeam offers the following interview attire don'ts and do's:

OfficeTeam is a leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 320 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com