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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Alathea, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Alathea

    Alathea Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  2. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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

    Archivist Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  4. Alathea

    Alathea Member

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    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.
     
  5. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Do they have those free grilled cheese sandwiches?
     
  8. Alathea

    Alathea Member

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    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.
     
  9. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    you can never be overdressed
     
  10. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Good advice has already been given so we wish you good luck on the interview. Let us know how it works out.
     
  11. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    In some dude's court
  12. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    Well...

     
  13. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Of course not. It's a day occasion, so morning dress or a stroller is called for.
     
  14. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    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!
     
  16. Nikias

    Nikias Active Member

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    I don't think anyone is ever going to knock you for wearing a suit and tie to a job interview in an office, but details like handkerchiefs in your breast pocket or other little eccentricities can produce a mixed reaction. Were I the interviewer, I'd probably be mildly impressed by a tasteful pocket square, but some people can have extreme reactions to eye-catching details like that, particularly on junior staff. I would not risk it, personally, but it's your call.
     
  17. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    Linen pocket square, with a presidential fold, should be fine. The only way that can be taken negatively is if you include some dandy detail or puffery.

    The interesting bit that no one has addressed is the fact that your other interviewer told you that there was no need to dress up. It seems like a loaded request. Either you dressing up will be taken as a sign of respect and going above and beyond, or you will be chastised for not following simple directions by the interviewer...

    What a dilemma, i hope the best for you, report back what happens...
     
  18. Savile Row

    Savile Row Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat analogous to being invited to a dinner party wherein the hostess-to-be throws out the token, "Oh, just bring yourself..."
    You still bring that bottle of wine, right...?

    Yes, old sport, wear your staple navy blue suit to the job interview.
    Plenty of chaps don't sport a suit at interview... but you don't want to be that guy, do you?

    I also agree with Mr. Chan's sentiment to not wear a pocket square.
    Save that accoutrement for after you have established yourself.

    Bon chance !
     
  19. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    On seeming too formal, etc...change that with your personality, not your outfit. Just remember to smile, maybe get a joke in so that they know you can have a good time.
     
  20. Towers

    Towers Senior member

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    +1

    Wearing a pocket square can come off as affected and silly looking. I've been on panels where people will comment on a conspicuous pocket square but have never walked out of one where someone has said "did you see he wasn't wearing a pocket square?!?".
     

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