Recently we had a post on dressing for an IT interview. We generally advise against dressing down for any interview, IT or otherwise, because there is far more risk in dressing down than there is in dressing up. Yet some IT hiring managers insist that they are more likely to hire those that dress “for the job,” and if you subscribe to that belief, we advise that you still dress professionally using the tips described in that article.
However, because IT has been a predominantly male field for a number of years, there are very few articles on how women should dress to an IT job interview. That is why here we will provide some thoughts on how women should dress for an interview in information technology.
Professionally is Always Best
Before we begin, we should note that we still believe that you should dress professionally. There is chance that the interviewer will hold your professional outfit against you, but if they do that is their fault. You should not, and most likely will not, be punished for showing the interviewer respect by dressing up for the interview. That said, if you do believe that dressing for the job is more important, you still need to do so carefully.
Dressing Down for Women
When dressing down for an IT job interview, women should strongly consider wearing pants over a skirt. Professional skirts will be seen as overdressed for the role, while standard dress pants will look both more casual and more appropriate for an IT job.
Shoes should not be expensive. Heels are generally not recommended if you are dressing for a casual IT interview. Still, try to keep them a professional color, like black.
Your hair should be done, rather than styled or in a ponytail. Your shirt should still be something more professional, like a blouse, but you do not need to wear a suit jacket over the blouse. Just make sure that the blouse is conservative. A nice looking but non-suit jacket over the blouse is also acceptable. Do not wear any fancy jewelry. Try to use studs in your ears instead of hoops, since studs are considered a little more casual.
There is no surefire way yet for women to dress down for a job interview. Men have a little more leeway with their outfits. If you are certain that you need to dress down for your job interview, rather than try to dress completely casual, simply look for casual versions of professional outfits. That is the only way to get the best of both worlds.
Take Away Interview Tips
- We generally don’t recommend dressing down for any interview.
- If you are going to dress down for an IT job interview, try to keep your outfit conservative and at least moderately professional.
- Pants are a better choice than skirts for casual interviews.