Dress codes have been moving towards a more relaxed feel in all industries, but especially in IT, for a long time. IT recruiters have been working with employers who have a jeans and t-shirt dress codes for years. There’s just one problem with this trend: Technical recruiters find that often, candidates will assume they can come to interviews in jeans. Even for the most casual of workplaces, 99% of IT staffing firms agree: It’s important to go to your job interview in a suit.
Why do you need to wear a suit when everyone around you will be wearing jeans? There are a few reasons. Firstly, wearing a suit indicates that you understand basic professional norms. Interviewing has required a suit for decades and it will likely continue that way. When IT staffing agencies tell you to wear a suit to your interview, they’re helping you send a message about more than just your closet. They want you to show employers that you know how to be a professional—right as you walk in the door. If you show up wearing jeans and t-shirt, employers have a moment to wonder what else you’ll do in a job. Do you come in late? Do you leave early? Do you swear or tell inappropriate jokes? So wear that suit and iron it. Have a strong handshake, and set the stage for employers to assume you’re a seasoned professional who knows how to act in an office.
The second reason IT recruiting firms tell you that you need to wear a suit to a job interview is because it helps you demonstrate a level of respect for the employer. As a candidate, you’re coming into the employer’s office and you’re doing it at their invitation. They’re taking time out of their busy schedules to interview you. Show that you’re grateful and you know you’re on their turf by wearing a suit. If you get the job, you can wear jeans and t-shirts with the other employees. However, as a candidate, the balance of power is different. Wearing a suit shows that you understand this.
The last reason you should wear a suit to interview for IT jobs is that it gives you an advantage. A suit makes anybody look a little better, a little more polished. It helps interviewers envision you as a capable, accomplished professional. Why eschew this advantage? Your technical skills will speak for themselves, but there’s no harm in adding that extra oomph to your candidacy with your suit. It’s one easy way that IT staffing firms suggest you can help yourself land the job!
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