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Interview rules when you know the culture of the office you are interviewing, and the average age-IT

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

I have an interview with a very fast rising IT/Distributed Services company on Tuesday, where it has a 'google-esque' work atmosphere. Client facing, they are conservative to a point, but in the office chinos, untucked collared shirts with sweaters, and remote controlled helicopters (with a foosball table on the side) are normal. They are recognized by Fortune Inc as one of America's fastest growing companies, and they have grown 600% in the last 5 years. Work life balance is a huge part of their small (under 50) company. 

 

 

SO-do I do the standard interview black/white/with conservative shoes, or do I dress down a bit? I don't want to seem stuffy or uptight, but the CEO of the company is my age and his number 2 is slightly younger. The average age of the company is just out of college at the base level and they are all very smart, young, driven. The mission statement is as much about work/life/family balance as it is about success. 

 

Is it ever bad form to dress down a little for an interview when you know that you'll be the nicest dressed person in the room when you show up for an interview?

 

CAS

post #2 of 74
suit for the interview. You can wear business casual for your first day of work.
post #3 of 74
Wear the suit.

An interview is a formal occasion. Dressing correctly shows respect for them, respect for yourself, and that you take yourself seriously. If you ever end up interviewing with anyone who is going to discount you for dressing well, you should consider if they are someone you want to work with, because it indicates a lack of seriousness and maturity on their part.

I interview people for software development positions at a company that is very informal. Everyone there appreciates when someone dresses well for interviews. And since we are talking about engineers on both sides of the table, you see all sorts of things.

Now, that said, how you dress will not have much to do with whether you get the job or not. That's about you.
Edited by Archivist - 2/12/12 at 5:19pm
post #4 of 74
Thread Starter 

Thanks. After 6 years, im finding that my resume is 'old fashioned' (im 35), my interview style is overly formal (as told by a friend that was on a committee), and in one rejection I was actually told that I was overly formal, and over qualified. I just wanted to make sure that the rules haven't changed somewhere and I missed the boat.

 

Its frustrating. Ive been out of work for a month now, and unemployment insurance hasn't yet been processed. My last job kept me really busy in 1 niche of IT work, so ive been having to bone up on some things that I hadn't focused on in the last few years. 

 

Ill treat it as I normally do, and go forward from there. Thanks, guys. 

post #5 of 74
I worked at a tech company in silicon valley where the VPs wore shorts almost every day.

I interviewed dozens of candidates in my time. I can tell you that some wore suits, and some wore business casual, it basically didn't matter. I hired one guy I definitely remember did not wear a suit, and hired another who definitely did.

Just don't try to get wacky.

If you aren't confident of your judgment, wear a suit.
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by sns23 View Post

suit for the interview. You can wear business casual for your first day of work.

Always wear a suit, no matter how casual the work environment might be. I just interviewed with a software non-profit in San francisco, about as casual a work environment as you'll come across, and just annoy the first thing the hiring manager said to me was "nice tie." I'd 'out-dressed' everyone in the office that day, but I'd also made a good impression.
post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alathea View Post

I have an interview with a very fast rising IT/Distributed Services company on Tuesday, where it has a 'google-esque' work atmosphere. Client facing, they are conservative to a point, but in the office chinos, untucked collared shirts with sweaters, and remote controlled helicopters (with a foosball table on the side) are normal. They are recognized by Fortune Inc as one of America's fastest growing companies, and they have grown 600% in the last 5 years. Work life balance is a huge part of their small (under 50) company. 

Do they have those free grilled cheese sandwiches?
post #8 of 74
Thread Starter 

All great feedback guys, thank you. My interview is tomorrow and i'm going with black on black with white or blue shirt and a pocket square. Later tomorrow I have another hastily scheduled interview (by the prospective employer) where he said "Don't worry about dressing up....."

 

Does anyone want to interpret that? Its for Ameritas (insurance company) for a position as a Systems Support/Analyst.

 

Ive never been told to not dress up before. 

post #9 of 74
you can never be overdressed
post #10 of 74
Good advice has already been given so we wish you good luck on the interview. Let us know how it works out.
post #11 of 74
wear a tux
post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevent View Post

you can never be overdressed

Well...
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixrecon View Post

wear a tux
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixrecon View Post

wear a tux

Of course not. It's a day occasion, so morning dress or a stroller is called for.
post #14 of 74
For the love of God, don't wear a pocket square. Wear the suit as though it were a normal interview courtesy, but you will really look like you're tying too hard if you wear the pocket square. You want the job, you know the office culture won't punish you for wearing one later, but don't risk looking like you're flaunting your vanity at your first introduction.
post #15 of 74
Suit with a blue shirt for the interview - bright tie. Pocket square is fine, I do not understand the nonsense written here about not wearing them for interviews. At the end of the day you not your wardrobe are being interviewed, the only time that it would be called into question would be if you wore morning dress!
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