Management Tactic #34: Dress Up When You Go Up

People treat you differently depending on what you wear. Try going to a job interview dressed in slacks and a blazer, and then try the same thing in a nice suit. An interviewer knows that you’re taking him seriously when you dress in the suit, and he’ll take you seriously in return.

I consider airline travel to be one long job interview, one long series of first impressions. The security guard checks your ID against your boarding pass. The x-ray guard gives you the one-over. The gate agent tears your ticket. The flight attendant greets you and later serves you. The passengers around you size you up. It’s one person after another, one interview after another.

I’ve learned that the best way to pass those interviews is to dress up for flights. Rather, dress how you wanted to be treated–and judged. If you want to wear tight pajama pants with “saucy” printed on the butt, people are going to treat you…well, as somewhat who wants them to read your butt. If you want to wear a t-shirt and ragged jeans, people are going to treat you like a rebellious high-schooler.

For the most part, when I travel, I just want to be left alone. That’s my time to people watch and read and get to my destination without delay. That’s it. By wearing business attire when I travel, I hope that I’m conveying that I want to be treated professionally and courteously and without suspicion, thank you very much I’ll be on my way.

How do you want your interview to go when you travel? What do you wear to the airport?