I know startups are casual but I want to make a good first impression. What's the right way to dress without being too stuffy?

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last year

Good question! This is something that I struggled with the first time I interviewed at a startup as well. But having gone through the process and actually now having interviewed a lot of people as a startup hiring manager, I think I can give you some advice.

First of all, its obviously better to be overdressed than underdressed as a general rule. Also consider your audience (i.e. what position you are interviewing for and where your hiring manager used to work). If you're going for a sales or investor relations position, you might want to dress up more than for a product position for example.

What I would stay away from: Business professional (i.e. full on suits, fancy ties, cuff links, etc.) Sport coat and slacks is probably still a little formal, but acceptable Any intense heels as a woman

What I would wear/have seen people wear: Slacks/nice jeans with a casual dress shirt Slacks/nice jeans with a polo Nice jeans with a sport coat Stick with the dress shoes (instead of sneakers) Chunky sweaters or fun/colorful blazers for women Skirts/slacks/dress with modest heels

The biggest take away I would give though is that an interview has much more to do with a person's personality than what they wear. As long as what you wear isn't completely outlandish, the primary focus should be having a friendly, open and non-"stuffy" attitude.

Hope that helps!

last year

Hey Emily,

I was not expecting this, and I really appreciate the detailed response.

One other question: if the company I'm interviewing at sells shirts with the company's name on it, would I look desperate if I came in with that shirt on?

last year

Hmm... that may be a little much :P. Again, the best way you can show interest is to demonstrate that you know a lot about the Company and ask pertinent questions about the Company and the role you are applying for.

last year

Got it. Will definitely wear a button up and nice dark jeans. I've had a ton of debate with friends so it's awesome to get this stuff cleared up.

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