When it comes to job-hunting in the IT world, dressing for success is still just as essential as it once was for nailing important interviews. Figuring out what to wear to an interview can be quite challenging: You need to look your best and make a knockout impression, but it’s also critical to match your garb with the culture of the company you’re looking to land a job with. Overdressing can be just as harmful as dressing too casually in some instances, which is why a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work for job interviews in the IT industry.
While many other business-types recommend a classic, three-piece power suit, you need to look beyond that. The stuffy suit look is will more than likely be overkill for a lot of IT gigs, where the tech-savvy culture leans more towards a relaxed-but-professional “geek chic” vibe. In extreme cases, some say even wearing a tie to certain interviews might expedite you to the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” pile. Finding the right balance is key, and the appropriate level of dressiness can change from company-to-company and position-to-position.
IT Interview Dress Code
If you’re gunning for a gig at a big corporate IT department with a traditional, conservative atmosphere, it’s best to stay on the more formal end of the spectrum. “Business casual” works fine here, but aim for a dressier version with this approach. Yes, that might indeed mean breaking out the tie, button-down shirt or blouse, skirt/khakis, and a blazer.
When it comes to interviewing at tech startups, the game changes quite a bit. The specific culture of each company really comes into play since the atmosphere at many younger companies is often far more relaxed and laid back. Think “casual but professional” for these types of interviews, where being overdressed can be disastrous. Dark denim and a nice tucked-in blouse or button-up shirt is a solid plan. There’s a bit more room for personal style in these interviews, and sweaters are also appropriate.
Musts for Any Interview
Regardless of where you’re interviewing, there are a few simple details you should never overlook:
1) Be clean, neat, and well-kempt. Personal grooming and tidiness is important. Casual does not mean “sloppy.”
2) Remember the old adage “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have”. Even if jeans and T-shirts is normal office attire, go the extra mile to show your prospective employer you care enough to dress up a bit for the interview.
3) Avoid loud colors and excessive accessories. A little style never hurts, but don’t go overboard on your outfit’s color scheme or your choice of accoutrements. Keep it simple and tasteful. Ladies, that goes for makeup too.
4) Skip the smells. Avoid perfumes, colognes and other strong-smelling products that might turn off interviews and stink-bomb the office. You don’t want to be known as the interviewee that forced the whole office to ventilate its windows.
Now That You Know What to Wear
It’s time to land that dream interview. Search our open IT positions here, and we wish you the best of luck in your search! We know you’ll look great.