We often emphasize how important it is that you ask questions at your job interview. It’s very important. It’s so important that if you have a fantastic interview and the interviewer asks you “do you have any questions” and your answer is “nope, I’m good” you will probably not get the job. That’s a considerable amount of importance.
Coming up with interesting questions though can be difficult. Not all questions are created equal. Asking the interviewer “What type of training programs do you offer?” is going to get you considerable more brownie points than “Do you mind if I show up to work drunk?”
Recently we came across a few websites that had recommendations to applicants about what types of questions they should ask. On several of these websites, they suggested that the applicant ask “Is there a dress code?”
This is a perfect example of a question that seems at first glance to be perfectly acceptable, but may actually cost you the job. Let’s look at it in terms of a scenario:
You are a 21 year old college graduate. You have just finished your degree and are looking for a career at a medium sized company. You have never worked before. You go to the interview and wow the interviewer with your personality and your intelligence. The problem is that the job was originally designed for someone with more work experience. The interviewer decides they are willing to overlook your lack of experience in favor of what appears to be a bright young mind entering their company’s ranks. Then you ask “Is there a dress code?”
The interviewer is probably going to hear: “Do I HAVE to dress up for this place or can I wear jeans and a t-shirt like I want to?” Suddenly their fears kick in again, and they worry you may not be ready for the corporate world.
Questions Have Implications
Interviewers are always going to try to figure out your motivations for the questions you ask, and asking about the dress code is one of those questions where the motivation doesn’t reflect highly on you. You may simply be asking because you need to update your wardrobe, but the interviewer may see it as you hoping you can work somewhere that you don’t have to dress and/or act professionally.
You can find out the dress code simply by observing the staff during the interview, or showing up dressed extremely professionally your first day and simply dressing down on all subsequent days. It’s a question that doesn’t need to be answered, so we at Everyday Interview Tips would recommend not asking that question.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Not all questions are great to ask, even when they are not bad questions.
- Avoid asking about dress code at your job interview.