This question is becoming increasingly more common because wearing a tie is becoming a thing of the past in many workplaces.
Tie, or no tie, that is the question!
If the vast majority of the gentleman in the employer organisation wear a tie to work, then wear a tie to the interview. If the organisation you are interviewing with is generally a conservative type of culture, again wear a tie to the interview.
By contrast, those in the architecture and design space rarely wear a tie, there is a more relaxed approach to work attire. That said, dress smartly, be on trend and be comfortable. At interview, be dressed one notch up for the standard dress code for that workplace. (I prefer a smart suit that fits perfectly and polished shoes, your tie is optional).
A tie can add a splash of colour. This is particularly useful when interviewing with an employer that is in the decorative interiors sector of our industry (e.g. floor coverings, solid surfaces, textiles, paint etc.). I often suggest that if you are selling colour for a living – then look like it at interview – a tie is an excellent way to add a splash of colour given that is what you’ll be selling in your job – colour! You’ll look the part if you have a modern tie, with a colour that is “on trend”.
I’ve had a candidate tell me they didn’t wear a tie to interview because nobody in the business wears a tie. The interviewer gave them feedback suggesting “If you really wanted the job; you should have worn a tie”. This is rare. From my point of view, if you had a fantastic interview, an employer is generally going to overlook their personal preference for a tie.
Still not sure?
If you are not sure about the culture and dress code for the employer, then ask the recruiter. They should have been to visit the client at least once to take a brief. If they have repeat business from their client, they should have been to their office several times. They can tell you their general observations to help you decide on what to wear.
Still not sure? Then wear a tie. Make sure it is on trend and one of this seasons colours. Do not pull out one of your old ties from the any of the previous decades! Your aim at interview is to look smart. First impressions are important, if you look smart, chances are your potential employer is going to sit down to interview you expecting you’ll be as smart as you look. At that point the interview is yours to lose.
Happy job hunting!