Want respect? Make a good first impression by matching your IT interview attire with the corporate culture.
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So you've got a job interview. Congratulations. Here comes the hard part. You've got to figure out what to wear to the interview. In IT it's harder than anywhere else. Show up in a suit to a company that's all tees and jeans and they might decide you are stuffy. Show up in jeans and another company might decide you aren't taking it seriously.
The stakes are high. First impressions are created in seven seconds, and they rely mostly on nonverbal cues like body language, and yes, clothes. People can make snap judgments about people based on clothes in as little as three seconds. Wear the wrong clothes, and you could be judged as less competent or intelligent before you even open your mouth.
Make a bad impression with what you're wearing and you could spend the rest of the interview simply trying to make up for it instead of sharing all the incredible talents that make you the one for the job.
Look, you know the basics. Don't wear roller skates or forget to wear pants. Your mama stopped dressing you when you went to college (or at least your senior year) and you've been around the block. But there are still some details that even the best of us might not be getting right.
Plus, the interview is probably one of the few places where you aren't tipped off to your own errors. Go to the club in the wrong pair of skinny jeans and your friends are going to let you have it, but wear the wrong suit to an interview and all you'll hear is "thanks for coming, but we're going in another direction." No manager can tell you that the real reason they didn't hire you was that your fish tie turned them off. They may not even know it themselves since many of these impressions are subconscious.
So we put together a slide show of some of the biggest fashion faux pas in the business, some subtle, some not so subtle, that will help you land the job. Or at least, it will help you get through the first seven seconds. What you do after that will be up to you.
Check out the list. Then tell us your go-to interview garb. And let us know if you've committed any crimes against fashion. Most importantly, managers, please sound off on all your interview horror stories, and tell us if someone lost a job because of what he or she was wearing.
David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio