Is dressing to impress really important? Peter Cosgrove Director of Cpl believes that it is, from an interview perspective it makes a huge difference if somebody is going to get the job as the first impression is key. Peter states that you won’t get the job in the first minute but you can certainly loose it, unfortunately when you are in the job it also makes a significant difference in how people view you. A recent example was Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who is well known for his casual wear but when he was undertaking investor presentations there was a real clash of cultures. Investors were very uncomfortable about giving millions to Facebook when their CEO didn’t even wear a suit. Zuckerberg stuck with his principles but there is a challenge that people expect you to be dressed the way a CEO should be.
Peter highlights that it is all about what is appropriate; it doesn’t necessarily mean a suit and tie, it is all applicable to the industry in which you operate. It really is the view that if someone is discussing your clothes in a negative fashion then that generally means you have gotten it wrong, its as simple as that. Peter was asked is perception more important than reality? Is image pretty much everything? Peter states that a recent survey in the US showed that most CEO’s are over 6ft and the average height is 5ft 9, that there are some things you just can’t get around. Furthermore another survey highlights that beards are often viewed in a negative light but it is often not known why.
Chris asked Peter the question if you are unsure of the dress code what’s the rule of thumb? Do you err on the side of conservative? Peter says yes you do, if you are going into an office that is smart/casual then you wear a suit unless you are told otherwise. It is important to be overdressed than underdressed especially at interviews; however it really depends on what other people think and if they think it’s wrong than it probably is because perception is very important. Peter highlights that it is all about the perception of the beholder/interviewer.