The outfit you choose for your first in-person Product Manager interview is very important. How you dress is a reflection of your personal brand. The interviewer and other team members will see your clothing before they shake your hand and have a conversation with you. What you wear is a key component of your first impression.
In some occupations, the dress code is obvious. For example, you would never wear jeans and a t-shirt for an interview at a law firm or investment bank because these workplaces are known for their professional dress code. The Product Manager’s dress code is less clear and may vary from one company to the next. Typically, dress code is discussed upon hiring. But for that first in-person interview, you may feel a bit nervous and unsure about what to wear. Here’s the guide you need to answer your Product Manager dress code questions.
Company Dress Code Types
Here’s the breakdown you need of Business Formal vs. Business vs. Business Casual vs. Casual dress code:
Business Dress Code
- Business formal is as classy as it gets in corporate America. This dress code is typically reserved for business events that are typically held outside of the office such as award ceremonies and special dinners. It may also be worn in the office by top-level executives and board members. You can think of business formal as a more reserved black tie dress code: think cocktail dresses and suits.
- Business, or business professional, is the original corporate America attire. Nowadays only companies with strict rules or more traditional values enforce this dress code. Business is the tailored suit-and-tie look you expect to see in a government building or law office.
- Business casual is probably the most common dress code for offices these days. It is a very middle-of-the-road style, not too casual and not too fancy. Business casual is a comfortable option for employees while still including key elements of business attire such as closed-toe shoes and button-up shirts. Business casual is usually a safe option for your Product Manager job interview.
Casual Dress Code
Casual dress is most popular with younger generations and within creative industries. There are still a few rules to follow regarding modesty and respect for others but, for the most part, you can wear what you feel comfortable in. Jeans, sweaters, and t-shirts are acceptable in casually dressed workplaces. This is the most common Product Manager dress code, but keep in mind that while casual attire may fit the bill when you’re on the job, what you wear in an interview should be more formal.
Regardless of the dress code put in place by the company, you always want to feel comfortable and confident in your job interview. If the dress code is going to affect your ability to succeed at the job, that company may not be the right fit for you.
Product Manager Interview Attire
Some people like the idea of having a go-to interview outfit, such as a two-piece suit. Although dressing business professional is not necessary for your Product Manager interview, it’s better to be overdressed rather than underdressed.
If you are following Product Gym’s game plan and booking 10+ interviews a week it’s not exactly possible to have just one outfit available for every interview. And purchasing multiple professional outfits can be expensive.
Most often, Product Managers dress more casually. For your interview, aim to dress just a step above the person conducting the interview.
Business casual is the best option for your Product Manager interview. For men, business casual attire looks like khakis and a button-down or slacks and a polo. You may consider dressing up the look with a tie or sports coat for your in-person interview. Business casual shoes include loafers, stylish leather or canvas sneakers, oxfords, or boots. Avoid wearing your running shoes, even if they are in mint condition.
Similarly to men, a women’s business casual look may include dress pants and a button-down shirt. Women also have the added variety of switching out pants for a pencil skirt and blouse or an office-appropriate dress. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your skirt or dress is not too short (an inch or so above the knee is generally acceptable for business casual). You can dress up the outfit with simple jewelry or a blazer. Shoes can include flats, loafers, mules, boots, or heels.
The overarching goal in any interview is to have confidence in yourself and impress the company with your skills and knowledge. It is difficult to show off such confidence if you are uncomfortable in your clothes. While the dress codes in the workplace may highlight expectations for both men and women, there are plenty of gender-neutral outfit options that are sure to impress.
One go-to business casual look that applies to everyone regardless of gender is khakis and button-downs. Add a cardigan or blazer as an outer layer, and wear simple jewelry to finish the look if it suits you. Loafers, oxfords, and sleek-looking boots serve as gender-neutral footwear to finish a business casual outfit.
You simply cannot go wrong with this go-to combo for your Product Manager interview. The important part of dressing for your Product Manager job interview is to stay true to yourself. Your outfit choice is your first impression and while you want to impress, you don’t want to hide who you are as a human. As long as your clothing fits well, is wrinkle and stain-free, and is appropriate for a professional office setting, you’re good to go.
How to Dress for a FAANG Product Manager Interview
A crucial part of any Product Manager interview preparation is researching the company ahead of time. There are many ways to highlight your company knowledge throughout the interview and one way to go about this is by dressing according to the company’s Product Manager dress code. This will be most important when you are interviewing for a Product Manager position at a FAANG company. Due to their prestige and high standards, researching their company dress code before your interview is a good idea.
Facebook and Apple Dress Code
Overall, the company culture and dress code at Facebook and Apple are pretty casual. Once you land the job, jeans and an appropriate t-shirt will be acceptable for your day-to-day attire. For your interview, however, you want to dress to impress. Business professional is the suggested look for an in-person interview at Facebook and Apple. They are well-respected, competitive companies and you want to show that you are serious about this job opportunity.
Netflix and Amazon Dress Code
Amazon and Netflix encourage you to dress more casually both on the job and in the interview. Netflix Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Valarie Toda, wants candidates to feel confident at their job interview and be prepared for open and authentic conversations throughout the interview process. Both companies make it clear they are less concerned with your wardrobe and more concerned with your skills and abilities as they apply to the Product Manager position. Business casual is an appropriate look for your Amazon and Netflix job interviews.
Google Dress Code
It comes as no surprise that Google is the most relaxed of the FAANG companies when it comes to a dress code. Generally speaking, they don’t have one. Candidates coming in for a Product Manager interview at Google are encouraged to dress in whatever makes them feel most comfortable and confident. Anywhere from casual to business professional is accepted at Google.
Nail Your Product Manager Interview
Looking for more practical strategies to take your Product Manager interview prep to the next level? Gain insight into landing and preparing for Product Manager job interviews with our team of career coaches. Schedule a free consultation with us today and let us answer any questions you may still have. We’d love to help get you on track to land the Product Manager job of your dreams.