An interview is an IT worker’s chance to make a first impression, and appearing overly casual could lead the hiring manager to believe the candidate does not take the position seriously. According to a new Robert Half Technology survey Chief Information Officers (CIOs) want to hire IT professionals who are “well suited” for the job -- both literally and figuratively. The survey found that nearly half (46 percent) of CIOs said a business suit is the most appropriate attire for someone interviewing for an IT position. Thirty-four percent of respondents favored khakis and a collared shirt.
Even in casual IT departments, hiring managers want to know that a job candidate has made an effort to look polished and professional. When in doubt, it’s better to err on the conservative side than risk appearing overly casual.
If you are unsure of what to wear, networking before the interview can help job candidates get a sense of how to dress when meeting with a hiring manager. Candidates should consult an insider at the firm, a recruiter or an HR representative for information about the corporate culture and how people tend to dress.
Robert Half Technology offers these additional interview attire tips:
- Choose something comfortable. You want to look as relaxed as possible, so avoid uncomfortable clothing. If you purchase new interview attire, wear it a few times to break it in before your meeting.
- Pay attention to details. Don’t overlook the less obvious aspects of your appearance, like your shoes, socks and accessories. Make sure your outfit is free of wrinkles and stains, your hair and nails are well groomed, and your shoes are polished.
- Don’t overdo it. Ultimately, you want your experience and skills to be the focus of the interview -- not your outfit. Avoid any distracting clothing or jewelry, as well as excessive perfume, cologne or makeup.
- Turn off electronic “accessories.” Make sure any mobile device you have with you is off before the meeting.
- Dress the part for a video interview. Even if your interview is via webcam, you want to look the part. Make sure you dress appropriately from head to toe and the background is free of distractions.