Proper attire for interview

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43 Replies - 5840 Views - Last Post: 27 September 2012 - 08:26 AM

#1 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:17 PM

Hello all,

I have scored an internship interview at IBM next week. I've been invited just yesterday so I have not had the time to buy a suit.

How should I dress?

I bought expensive black pants, and a long sleeve buttoned white shirt with subtle stripes. Shoes are lacking in style but they are brand new.

Do I have to wear a tie?

I've been looked down for overdressing in an interview once. So I'm being careful. Not entirely sure of IBM's dress code but I know companies like Google don't care much about how you dress, even for an interview.

This post has been edited by carnivroar: 21 September 2012 - 07:18 PM


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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:19 PM

*
POPULAR

Do a drive by their campus in the morning and in the evening and see what other folks are wearing! Recon!
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#3 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:52 PM

IBM has, throughout its history, had a reputation for a high level of dress. I'd rather be over than underdressed, though a tux would probably be ridiculous. Modi's suggestion of recon is a good one, if you can get close enough without having to explain yourself.

This post has been edited by xclite: 21 September 2012 - 07:52 PM

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#4 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

My professor said that folks who work there dress casually. He said I had to dress up only for the interview.
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#5 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:31 PM

Always dress up for an interview... pretty common sense.
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#6 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

View Poststackoverflow, on 21 September 2012 - 08:31 PM, said:

Always dress up for an interview... pretty common sense.


I think you have not understood my question.
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#7 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:49 PM

Dress pants, shoes, white long sleeve dress shirt and a tie. Works every time.
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 08:59 PM

If you're like me, and really don't think a lot about clothes, your best bet is really to find someone who seems to have some sense in that department and ask them to help you out. They have the two advantages over the people on this forum: they can come to your place and go through your wardrobe and see you in your finery, and (more importantly) they're not a bunch of geeks who think "dressing up" means putting on the clean T-shirt.

And really, these people ask our advice all the time about the stuff we know about. Turnabout's fair play.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 21 September 2012 - 09:00 PM

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#9 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:25 PM

View Poststackoverflow, on 21 September 2012 - 11:49 PM, said:

Dress pants, shoes, white long sleeve dress shirt and a tie. Works every time.

I second this. If it's a business function, always dress like this unless told otherwise.
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#10 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:33 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 21 September 2012 - 09:25 PM, said:

View Poststackoverflow, on 21 September 2012 - 11:49 PM, said:

Dress pants, shoes, white long sleeve dress shirt and a tie. Works every time.

I second this. If it's a business function, always dress like this unless told otherwise.


Great, that's what I have.

I was only concerned about not having a suit.
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#11 Bench  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

View Postcarnivroar, on 22 September 2012 - 03:17 AM, said:

I've been looked down for overdressing in an interview once.
How exactly were you "over dressed" on that occasion? Were you wearing formal business attire with a suit/tie/cufflinks or did you walk in wearing designer label clothes, hair gel and other 'nightclub bling'? The former is rather standard, the latter gives a very bad impression of your attitude.

View Postcarnivroar, on 22 September 2012 - 03:17 AM, said:

So I'm being careful. Not entirely sure of IBM's dress code but I know companies like Google don't care much about how you dress, even for an interview.
Regardless of what they might want their public image to be, I would still think its not a good idea to attend an interview for the company dressed in anything other than standard formal business attire unless you've been told otherwise on the invite

Interviewers, particularly those who are in higher management positions, are usually trained to look out for visible clues as to a candidate's personality and work ethic by their clothing. The best example is that of having freshly polished shoes; management often have the idea drilled into them by their peers or by management course leaders - A candidate who polishes their shoes is likely to have a good work ethic, attention to detail, and a sense of pride about everything they do. (Of course that's not true, but the first impression often sticks in their mind)

While it may be less of an issue if you're being interviewed by a technical leader (who themselves may be sat in your interview wearing t-shirt + trainers), they are still likely to be taking notes upon their first impression of you; and you don't want them thinking for even half a second that you might be lazy or ambivalent about the job (which could happen if you "dress down");

Wearing business attire suggests that you have a professional, mature, business-like attitude; that you are taking the interview and your prospective employers seriously. It doesn't need to look expensive or stylish, it just needs to look smart and formal. Definitely not forgetting the polished shoes however.

In short - perhaps it happened to you once, but I wouldn't assume it's likely to happen again. Also, it may have had nothing to do with their final decision on whether to off you the job.
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#12 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:51 PM

Suit and tie always, unless you are specifically told otherwise. How is this even a discussion?
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#13 GunnerInc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:07 PM

Unless you are applying for a job as a dishwasher or mechanic etc... The norm would be a suit and tie as others have stated, unless otherwise told.
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#14 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

@kya - because people are trying to push this whole "overdressing will get you dinged" sort of thing. You know, to make interviews more stressful in less than meaningful ways.
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#15 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Proper attire for interview

Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:10 PM

I'm all about meaningful stress.
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