Job Hunting Myth:
Even though you may have seen or worked with some pretty poorly dressed programmers in the past, that does not mean that you can dress poorly for an interview.
I always thought this was very, very obvious but I have interviewed some pretty poorly dressed candidates in the past. One guy I interviewed even wore a hat to an interview, another guy wore the badge of the company he was currently working at – these are all things that you shouldn’t do. They’re just in bad taste, and disrespectful to the interviewers because it makes them feel like you’re not serious about the interview. Or, it makes them think you’re just too stupid to know any better, which is even worse.
Casual Dress Creates Casualties
Needless to say, we didn’t hire these people. Why? Simple – because if you dress that casually for an interview, that reflects that you will do your job with a casual attitude. No one wants to hire someone who is not serious about doing a great job.
Sometimes the recruiter that invites you to an interview will give you guidelines on how you should dress for an interview. Follow those instructions carefully.
Otherwise you should dress business casual – a full sleeve shirt, nice pants, and dress shoes. All of these things apply to women as well as men. Women can of course wear a business appropriate skirt.
For consulting companies like Accenture and any companies in the finance sector you should go all out and dress in a suit since that is the common practice there. Be careful about wearing a suit to other companies though – some companies take a lot of pride in their ‘casual’ atmosphere and may even think you’re ignorant for wearing a suit. When in doubt, dress business casual because it is a middle ground so you can’t be blamed for being either too casual or too over-dresses.
So the myth here is how you dress does not matter. It would be a great shame if you didn’t get a job just because you were not dressed well enough, even though you knew the answer to every programming question they threw at you because you are a faithful reader of ProgrammerInterview.com. You definitely don’t want to take the risk of losing out on a job offer just because of the way you dressed!