Does old fashioned etiquette and dress sense matter in the modern office?

I ask the question because (as you can imagine) I do have my own views and I’d love to hear yours. It’s interesting to find people turn up for interview in dirty shoes and scruffy attire and yes, even today those first impressions do count.

Neither I or my co-interviewer could bring ourselves to appoint someone who turned up without caring to clean his shoes and interestingly the point was emphasised when the next interviewee turned up, in a smart pin stripe suit – he got the job (and was a good employee too).

My own view is that dressing well, especially for an interview is essential. Paradoxically though, I know someone who very recently went for an interview and after successfully being informed she was successful (by the agent) was told that she nearly didn’t get the job as the Client had (mistakenly in this case) felt that perhaps she was too wealthy to really want the job. That impression was gleaned by her profile on Linkedin, referring to her horse riding past and… wait for it… her immaculate dress sense.

But how about this though; I used to do business with a lady, who whenever she met me, she would kiss me fondly on both cheeks, a move that I found over familiar and I really didn’t like it. How “familiar” is familiar?

On another occasion, I agreed to a “dress down” Friday. A routine that was new at the time and on one particular Friday a young man who worked for me turned up in a pair of frayed, cut down shorts and a T-shirt that looked like he’d been painting in it with the whole ensemble topped off with a ragged, dirty pair of trainers. I must tell you that we used to welcome Clients to the office quite often and to that end I confess I was so shocked and demanded rather angrily that he dress more smartly next Friday!

What are your thoughts?

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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