ST. LOUIS – Earlier this week, Jefferson County Police Sheriff Dave Marshak, shared a tongue-in-cheek tweet stating how to dress properly for an interview. 

Advice for potential new officers. If you show up for an interview in blue jeans, polo shirt, and you are wearing Mardi Gras beads around your neck, Captain Forler won’t allow you through the door to be interviewed.

Sheriff Dave Marshak

“I am serious. This is what happened. We have a meeting room off to our lobby. That is where we are doing interviews,” said Sheriff Marshak. “A guy comes in. He is wearing blue jeans and he’s got on kind of a ratty polo shirt. He’s got his sunglasses on his head, he is carrying a coffee mug.” 

Marshak said that the secretaries in the office remind interviewees to dress professional. This is an interview, and they will be meeting the commanding staff. 

According to the Ohio State University informative pamphlet, they say that the importance of a first impression in an interview can make or break the candidate’s chance of success. Studies have revealed that the employer often decides whether to hire or not hire a candidate in the first few minutes of the interview. 

First impressions are an important consideration in the hiring process. 

“[The interviewee] kept strolling in and the captain opened up the door to call up the potential candidate’s name,” said Marshak 

Marshak said that the captain was surprised when the interviewee stood up when the name was called. The captain asked again if the individual was here for the interview, and the person answered in the positive. 

According to Marshak, the captain told the interviewee ‘No, thanks’ and closed the door. 

Marshak said that if you are not taking the interview seriously, then you are not serious about working here. 

Minnesota State Careerwise said that a clean and neat professional appearance is an important step in making a good first impression. The interview should focus on the candidate and not the candidate’s clothes. 

“We have policies and procedures for when you wear certain uniforms and when to be professional,” said Marshak. 

He went on to explain that this interviewee was a former officer and that they should know how to dress for an interview with the sheriff’s office. 

Indeed.com explains why understanding the company’s culture will help the interviewee succeed in the job interview. A company culture defines the way people interact with each other and the way the company makes decisions.

“Culture fit” can sometimes be used as a way to cut and discriminate against candidates. But if the interviewee does not know how existing employees look, think, and act, the candidate may be unprepared. 

“You have to know what you are applying for; you have to know what the culture is,” said Marshak. “Clearly, this person did not understand our culture and it was not going to be a good fit for our agency. He never made it past the door.” 

Marshak said there are exceptions. If the interviewee was 18 or 19 years old and had no prior experience or guidance, they might be the exception. There are some circumstances that the department could work with. 

“But when you know you are going there for an interview with commanders, there are some expectations,” said Marshak.