How To Dress For The Job Interview

May 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm in Fun, Tech, Work

Some students and friends of mine have been out looking for jobs lately, and as developers, it’s not always clear what you should wear. Dress too nicely and you’ll look like you won’t fit in. Dress too casually and you run the risk of insulting people or appearing that you don’t care enough to dress up for a job interview.

Obviously the first thing you could do is just ask someone who currently works there what you should wear for an interview. Don’t ask directly, but perhaps inquire during the phone screen what the dress code is, and then dress a bit higher than that.

Another great piece of advice I’ve heard is that you should “dress like you’re going on a first date.” I like how that one sounds.

But another thing you could do, which I did, is just turn it over to Twitter. I asked my followers what our peers are wearing to job interviews, and I got some great replies.

Some people really insisted on dressing up for the interview, but “dressing up” had a lot of different meanings.

I wear a modern suit and tie to dev interviews. When I interview devs, I expect them to dress professionally. Dress matters.

joshpuetz

I always wear a suit and tie for everything but a final Manager interview. No one ever got fired for dressing nice.

jasonmotylinski

“business casual” – no tie or jacket, but professional shirt/pants/shoes combo.

jeffcohen

I think last time I did slacks and a polo. Austin is a pretty casual town, though.

benkimball

i wore smart shirt, trousers, and a jumper. i also had a shave and washed… that was quite a step up for me…

Lenary

i did wear a suit and tie to my job interview but realized i was overdressed as all those were in casual…although I don’t think I’d dress casual for another interview… just because I think it would make a better impression not to.

wavded

And some had the opposite feeling:

Whatever they want?!? I’m not sure I’d work somewhere that my style of dress would be a problem.

RobotDeathSquad

I wore a coat and tie … but then the guys told me that jeans probably would have been better. Ugh.

boblmartens

I’ve seen people wearing suits while I wore well, t-shirt and jeans to interviews (this has happened twice) and I got the job.

Seivanheidari

Others said that dressing up made them uncomfortable.

Last set I wore what I would have worn on a regular work day. I feel less credible in a tech interview if I’m wearing a suit.

noelrap

My opinion, the more I need to dress up for an interview, the greater the chance I’ll hate the job.

ethangunderson

Finally, a few suggested it’s important to know your environment.

Depends on the company – dress to their upper bound

dahlbyk

I don’t go on interviews but when I’m going to a client’s office for the first time I always ask what the dress is and adjust

hardbap

Khaki’s, polo or button down and either a sport coat or not, depending on the place.

jwynia

you have to know the culture and ‘dress-code’ of the company before an interview. you don’t want to be too formal or under formal

kblake

i was given advice to dress up a “level” than the dress code at that company.

jonhoman

So, how do you think you should dress for your next interview?

P.S. Thanks to everyone for chiming in!

6 comments

Las Vegas is a hellhole

May 12, 2009 at 12:39 am in Fun, Ruby on Rails, Work

First off, apologies to my cousin Kevin and his lovely wife. I’m sure there are lots of things to like about Las Vegas, but I just didn’t enjoy myself in the City of Really Expensive Everything. I went to Vegas for a conference, and luckily enough for me the conference kept me quite busy and mostly away from all of the wonderful distractions the strip has to offer the person who has too much money and time on his or her hands.

The time I did have consisted of me overpaying for everything. You want an idea of how expensive that place is? Buy a Coke. It’ll cost you $3.75. For a 20 ounce bottle. You can guess what beer costs.

Secondly, nobody was happy. I walked around several casinos, walked through several of the shopping centers, and down the main strip, and all I saw were people trying to do exactly what I was doing…

…trying to get the hell out of wherever they had found themselves.

You see, the whole strip is set up to keep you in a constant state of confusion. Casino floors are linked together by shopping malls with winding paths and linear hallways. Everything’s ridiculously huge and a week’s time is not nearly enough to get the lay of the land. To go to the “next casino” you need to be willing to put in some serious time. Like two hours.

Oh, and everything’s broken. The monorail was always down, the trams at the airport were broken, and for some reason I had water leaking into my bathroom from above.

If RailsConf is there next year, I’m gonna be pretty upset.

No comments

4 months already

June 7, 2008 at 8:26 pm in Book, Family, Personal, Work, Writing

So Lisa’s more than four months old already. I can’t believe how much time flies. In the last four months, quite a few things have happened around here.

First, Ana just finished up Second Grade. She’s planning to spend her summer doing lots of reading and learning, and hopefully she’ll get some video game time in with me. I’m pretty proud of her–she really pulled it together this year.

Next, I just gave a presentation at RailsConf 2008 in front of 208 people. I gave hands-on training in web design, teaching color theory, typography basics, and showed some fun Photoshop and Illustrator stuff too. If you’re bored, you can check out the slides and handouts from my presentation.

I’ve made good progress on the book. We launched MyDecisionHelper so I have some more free time, although I’m looking for more work since I could use the money. Unfortunately the book is top priority right now and I’ve been rewriting a good chunk of it as of late.

I also launched a site caled FeelMySkills where you can build your own online profile page where you can list your skills and show examples of your photography, illustrations, designs, video or audio production, or whatever else you can share on the web. The site is designed to be easy to use so it’s easy to create an employer-safe web presence for yourself like this one. Give it a try. You can sign up for free and upgrade to a pro account when they’re available.

Lisa’s doing very well with things. There’s a chance she’ll need surgery again on the 27th of this month, so we’re all hoping she won’t. The 27th, as you may or may not be aware, is the day before Dad’s wedding. We’ll have to go to Marshfield on the 27th and then head to Monroe on that day or the next day depending on the need for surgery. Nobody’s happy about that, least of all Dad.

And I’m still waiting to hear about Tor Seilheimer, son of Titus and Amy. Any day now, right?

1 comment

Going to RailsConf 2008

February 13, 2008 at 6:41 am in Personal, Ruby on Rails, Work

I’ll be heading to Portland again this year to go to Railsconf 2008. I’ll be giving a talk there again this year too called “Design For Developers” where I’ll teach developers how to design a pretty-looking web page. Should be a blast.

No comments