Hacker Career Advice

Dress Code for Success

What should you wear to a job interview? Well, much like “what does business casual mean?” there’s no one true answer.

Instead of panicking, take a minute to reflect:

What kind of company is this?

Banks, law firms, consultancies, and other professional services firms are usually more buttoned up than startups. Technology & VC backed companies tend to be more caszh.

Google the company, look up the executive team, and look at what they are wearing in their head shots. Do you see ties & suits? Mirror that. Do you see button downs & jeans? Great, you can dress down and wear something more casual.

What kind of interview is this?

If this is a functional or technical interview, dress comfortably, but slightly dressier than you would on an average day at the office. If you’re going to end up sweating through a binary tree inversion, you don’t want to be worried about how your pants fit.

If this is a single, one hour interview in the middle of your existing workday, you can probably stick with your existing workday attire, but leave the t-shirt & athleisure at home.

What makes you feel like you?

Beyond basic grooming, (make sure your clothes are clean, appropriately sized, ironed, shoes shined, etc.) it’s important to feel confident in your appearance and style. You’re unique, so don’t be afraid to show your true personality. After all, these people are going to have to work with the real you every day.

If you feel better with a pop of color, go for it. Like to wear big old Texas belt buckles? Asymmetric haircuts? Hey, that’s part of who you are, don’t hide it.


© 2018 Neal Shyam