Re: Question about dressing for job interviews

Subject: Re: Question about dressing for job interviews
From: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto" <jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 11:17:49 -0800

At 11:36 PM -0800 1/12/2002, Emsahlstein -at- cs -dot- com wrote:
>I'm just getting started looking for a job and I'm wondering what people's
>opinions are on the following question: Do you have to wear a suit?

It's going to depend very much on the work environment.

I don't agree that you "can't go wrong wearing a suit", as some people have
suggested, because in some companies the difference between the formality
of a suit and the usual dress is too great - as ridiculous as showing up
for an interview in white tie and tails. In many companies, of course, a
suit would be perfectly appropriate. My sense is that the Northeast is more
formal than the South and West, but there are variations between industries
as well. (For a job with a bank, a suit would almost always be appropriate.
For one with a small tech startup, I'd hesitate to recommend a suit
regardless of where you are.)

I'd say a good rule of thumb is to dress one notch more formally than the
usual working dress at the company. (If you're not sure what that is, it's
a reasonable enough question to ask your contact at the company - "What
sort of thing do people usually wear?") If everyone comes to work in
sandals and shorts, wear a pair of khakis and a polo shirt or something. If
that's the usual dress, a sportcoat would be appropriate. If sportcoats are
usual, wear a suit. This gives a touch of formality and shows that you take
the interview seriously, without being too out of step with the business
environment and the people you're interviewing with.

jeanne a. e. devoto ~ jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com

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Question about dressing for job interviews: From: Emsahlstein

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