General discussion


What IS the Appropriate Attire for an Interview?

By CaptBilly1Eye ·
In the old days of "Dress For Success," the three piece suit for men and the dress suit for women were the recommended uniforms for attending that all-important first interview. Times have surely changed and company dress codes have been loosened for so long that there doesn't appear to be as much focus on dress as there once was. What's your opinion?

When dressing for your first interview, what would you wear? As an interviewer, what would you like to see an interviewee wear? Does it make a large difference based on the job you/they are applying for (i.e. IT Manager, Graphics Designer, Web Developer, Technical Support Analyst, Help Desk)? Does it still matter?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

120 total posts (Page 5 of 12)   Prev   03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07   Next
Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

jck, and the poor poor

by jdclyde In reply to Don't think we are ever g ...

Picture this, I know someone that was working two jobs, bringing in about 18k a year, supporting a wife and twin boys, AND taking 9 credit hours a semester. You might even know him....

Things are tight all over.

Bottom line, many employers don't CARE what your situation is, and seeing you THAT poor can count against you as someone that is hurting for money is more likely to perform petty theft. That is the same reason some employers will check your credit rating. Are they suppose to? No. Do they? Yes.

I am not sitting here judging anyone for the way they dress. I am just pointing out the fact that many people that ARE in the position to hire WILL judge you based on how you present yourself.

Crying about it not being fair won't help one bit. It is the real world, and if you wish to play someone else's game, you have to play by their rules. YOUR only solution is to find someone that has rules you want to play by or become your own boss and make up your own rules. Simple, really. Anything else is just making excuses.

Right now, that same guy I was referring to has sole custody, and is raising his twin boys with no financial support or assistance from his ex-wife. Add to that, his oldest twin is trying to be very helpful. He is helping them to meet their insurance deductible as he just broke his hand skateboarding. ;\

And like I said a few posts ago, I do not own a suit today, but I do have a sports jacket and a nice conservative tie that goes with it. My boss is retiring at the end of the week, so I think I need to dust it off and update my resume and try to move up the ladder now that an opening is there. B-)

Collapse -

Well Said, JD.

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Don't think we are ever g ...

That said it all and in a clear way.

...sounds like you're used to using a crutch as a lever rather than an excuse. In other words, not allowing roadblocks to equal a dead stop.

Good Points.

Using a bad situation to be self-righteously blind to the realities of business doesn't get anyone anywhere but into a worse situation.

oh... and... Good Luck

<damn, I miss the extended thread trick>

Collapse -

Thanks cap

by jdclyde In reply to Don't think we are ever g ...

"Using a bad situation to be self-righteously blind to the realities of business doesn't get anyone anywhere but into a worse situation."

The "I'm a victim" syndrome these people put themselves in is exactly why there are so many people that are just getting by in life. Next thing you know, they will think that someone other than themselves should be responsible to pay for their health care. After that, someone other than themselves should start making their car payments too..... :0

How did this country sink so low?

I had a similar discussion with someone sniveling about how his facial piercings should not stop him from getting a good job. Waaaaaaaaaaaa. He got pissed when I told him if I was doing the hiring, he wouldn't make it past the first interview, provided he was able to sneak in that far, and if he DID get that far, it would be a very short interview as he wouldn't have a snowballs chance in **** unless we are talking hiring to be a ditch digger that never is seen by the public.

Oh, and my boy got lucky. They just put a splint on his hand instead of a cast. A lucky turn of events, considering how hot a cast would be this time of year, and the difficulties with taking showers.

Collapse -

Well apparently

by jck In reply to Don't think we are ever g ...

none of you have ever been in real dire financial situations like my friend.

Again, my friend was poor as ****...whether you want to believe it or not.

As for borrowing money from family...he had parents who had money...and...they would not loan him anything. So, count yourself lucky if yours helped you...his wouldn't.

JamesRL: I've been in a hiring firing roll before, and I got there by age 27. I chose not to be a manager. So, don't stick that nose up in the air and be all pious with me. I've been where you are at, and I found it dull, useless, and technically about as challenging as passing gas. I left it willingly. I hope you'll say the same for your career rather than being removed through attrition.

jdclyde: Like I said before...because you haven't been there or seen someone who is in it...don't think it doesn't exist. My friend didn't even make $18k per year, especially when he was mobilized to Ft. Ord in Desert Storm and the military was his only income. He made $5-something an hour from Revco Drug. He made a few hundred a month from the National Guard.

Luckily enough...someone in management didn't think him totally incompetent because he couldn't borrow money off his relatives or take more loans to enhance his wardrobe.

Last I talked to him, he was working as a digital trunk line engineer for Alcatel.

Anyway...I must be in the wrong place being around the aristocracy of IT. I feel out of place here anymore, hence I am making myself scarce.

I have no time to argue with people who think that there is a definitive set of traits that define the quality of a person's work ethic, and one of those major indicators being how much you're willing to spend for clothing.

I wish you all the best...and hope none of you are judged for technical merit based on your wardrobe.

Collapse -

Dress nice!

by DT2 In reply to not all people fit that m ...

Dress nice. Remember, the interviewer doesn't know you from Adam. All they have to go on is your resume and how well you performed in the interview. How would the interviewer know that you are meticulous in your coding and database design? Because you told them so? Given that you have two people that seem to be equally qualified from their resumes and interviews, the one that dresses nicer will tip the scales in their favor.

Collapse -

Good Point. But...

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to it depends

I was focusing more on the initial 'Please Hire Me' interview.
Because it is more acceptable now in the work place to 'dress down' to a point, does that transfer over to the interview?
Or is it still as important to dress more for the job of the person interviewing rather than the job you are interviewing for?

The book, 'Dress for Success', published back in the 70s (with a revised, updated version in the 90s) was aimed at the idea that you should look your best in order to land the job that leads to your success. Although, the idea of trying to make a impression by dressing the part may have become diluted over the years. Don't you think it still carries some weight?

I keep remembering a manager I once had that said; "you should always dress for the job you want, not the one you have."

Collapse -

Dress for the job you want

by lhanson In reply to Good Point. But...

CaptBillyOneEye beat me to the punch. I dress down at work but not as down as some of my people. When I interviewed for this job and others I was considering at the time, I wore suits and ties. My theory is that I wanted them to get the impression they were hiring a professional who takes his job seriously. I don't make it a point, but I dress better than the president of the company. In fact he asked me not to wear my suit coat to a meeting with a customer one day and was a little surprised to see me in a tie.

Collapse -

Regardless of what you wear, bring a pen.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to What IS the Appropriate A ...

Nothing says unprepared like borrowing a pen when asked to fill out an application. I knew a manager who kept a green pen for just such requests. That way he could tell at a glance what applications to ignore.

Don't ask to use their copier to make a copy of your resume, vita, references, etc. You should have done that before you got there.

Don't rely on others for transportation. The only thing worse than being late because your friend had car trouble is having to leave the interview because your friend has an appointment of his own. If you can't arrange reliable transportation for a single interview, how are you going to do it five days a week?

Collapse -

I knew a 'green pen' manager too.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Regardless of what you we ...

explicit instructions to the receptionist...

if an applicant asked to borrow the pen, green it was...

Collapse -

Not exactly green pen, but....

by n4aof In reply to I knew a 'green pen' mana ...

While I was involved in hiring people it was a place where we received specific applications before we considered doing interviews. A sloppy application NEVER resulted in an interview. Back in the days of typewriters, in one large batch of applicants for an Admin Services position (glorified typist) every hand written application was discarded unread, followed into the trash by each application with less than perfect spelling, visible corrections, and where the text was out of place.

Our standards for applications for professional positions were NOT QUITE as absolute on the appearance of the application, but 'neatness and spelling' were still absolutely mandatory.

As for dress and appearance at the interview, we expected the applicant to look at least as well dressed as would be appropriate for the job.

In the real world there is a double-standard for female applicants to dress appropriately simply because there are more kinds of "inappropriate" ways for a woman to dress. (I have never seen a male applicant for any office job show up looking like an actor at a casting call for a Fabio stand-in but I have seen several women show up for a morning interview dressed for a night at the club).

Back to IT Employment Forum
120 total posts (Page 5 of 12)   Prev   03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums