The corporate world is changing. Where once the idea of casual was a wacky tie every Friday, these days some companies have gotten rid of dress codes completely, since most of their work occurs behind the scenes where few people will judge them by their professionalism. IT jobs are the most notorious. It is extremely common to find an IT job where the interviewers themselves come in dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.
IT Job Dress Code
Because of the casual dress at these job interviews, many hiring managers recommend that you dress for the job, showing that you fit into their corporate culture. They believe that if you come to the interview in a black suit and tie, you are not going to get the job because you won’t “fit in” with the rest of the staff.
We at Everyday Interview Tips have our doubts about this. It seems illogical that a company will judge you negatively for wanting to make a positive first impression, and it seems risky to dress casually for a job interview, because if the interviewer is looking for someone dressed professionally, you are going to fail miserably. The opposite is must less true.
Still, it is well known that there are companies that do still want to hire someone that dresses for the job. When you know for certain that the job interview you are attending is casual, here are some IT job dress code tips.
Dress Down, But Not Unprofessionally
You still want to make a positive first impression. Dressing in an AC/DC shirt and ripped jeans is not going to make a good first impression on anyone, even if the interviewer is wearing the same exact shirt. It’s ugly, and it makes you look worse.
You still want to come across as professional. So the best idea is to come as a what we will call “IT professional.” Dress like you are a slob that is trying their best to look professional that doesn’t actually know how. Dress in the following (for men):
- Short sleeve professional button down shirt in a boring color, like light blue.
- Boring tie.
- Non-pleated khakis.
- Boring black shoes.
The short sleeve will add that casual flare, but the khakis and tie will help it appear more professional. Then, if you find that you are still overdressed, you can un-tuck your shirt somewhere during the interview and make it appear you are even more lucid about dress code.
Women should look to dress similarly, except instead of the short sleeve button down shirt and tie, it should be replaced by a blouse that is not too dressy.
Advised But Not Recommended
Above represents the best way to dress down for an IT job interview. However, we at Everyday Interview Tips still think it is a better idea to dress completely professionally. There is more risk in dressing down than there is dressing up. Still, we recognize that some people disagree, and the above IT interview dress code advice above represents the best combination of both.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Dressing down is not recommended.
- If you do dress down, try to still be professional by wearing a tie.
- Short sleeve button downs are considered more casual.