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Following Suit

Almost Half of CIOs Say IT Candidates Should Wear Formal Interview Attire

If you’re interviewing for an IT job in Southern California, you’ll probably want to wear a suit, according to a new Robert Half Technology survey.When asked what IT candidates should don for an interview, 51 percent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Los Angeles said wearing a business suit to an interview is preferred over more informal attire.The same is true for CIOs in Denver and Philadelphia.

Not surprisingly, CIOs in Raleigh, North Carolina were the least formal, with just 36 percent saying those interviewing for IT positions should wear a suit. Just 37 percent of CIOs in San Francisco said IT candidates should don suits for interviews.

CIOs were asked, “Which of the following, in your opinion, is the most appropriate interview attire for someone interviewing for an IT job with your company?” Their responses:

Formal business suit……………….………………………………46%
Khakis and a collared shirt………………………………………34%
Tailored separates (for example, a skirt and blouse)………………14%
Jeans and a polo shirt...................................................... 4% 
Something else/don’t know.............................................. 2% 

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.

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.

Here are some 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.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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