Re: Question about dressing for job interviews

Subject: Re: Question about dressing for job interviews
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 14:13:23 -0800

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto wrote:

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.
Definitely. In extreme cases, you can be dismissed as not likely to fit in because you're wearing a suit while everyone else is in cutoffs and a T-shirt.

As a general rule, I'd say that the hipper the company image, the more technical the company, or the more that it deals with hardware than software, the more casual the general dress code that's acceptable. At the opposite extreme, the less high-tech the company's core business, the more formal you can expect it to be. In other words, at open source companies, wearing clean blue jeans is being formal, but among accountants, lawyers, and security brokers,, expect a strong emphasis on dressing well.

A reasonable compromise for a man is to wear dark clothes, leather shoes, and a tie, but no suit jacket - especially a tie. A tie's a useless piece of apparel, so far as I'm concerned, but in many people's minds, it seems to mark the difference being a man who's treating the situation with respect and one who's not.

Another factor is whether you're interviewing for a full-time position, or coming in as a consultant. As a consultant, you have more slack. In fact, not being too over-dressed can be a subtle bargaining point; it can suggest that the company has to meet your standards, instead of the other way around. I consider this tactic payback for the number of times I've sweated in a suit while being interviewed by some guy in a torn and dirty T- shirt with his mud-smeared running shoes on the desk. :-)

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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Re: Question about dressing for job interviews: From: Jeanne A. E. DeVoto

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