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SHOW YOUR STRONG 'SUIT'

Formal Job Interview Attire Preferred by One-Third of CIOs Surveyed

Dec 22, 2008
10:23pm

MENLO PARK, CA -- IT professionals often dress casually on the job, but those looking for work may want to step up their style, a new survey suggests. More than one in three (35 percent) chief information officers (CIOs) polled said a business suit is the most appropriate interview attire. Another 26 percent cited khakis and a collared shirt as proper apparel, followed by tailored separates, with 24 percent of the response.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “What is the most appropriate interview attire for someone interviewing for an IT job with your company? ” Their responses:
 

Formal business suit   35%
Khakis and a collared shirt   26%
Tailored separates (e.g., skirt and blouse, jacket and dress pants)   24%
Jeans and a polo shirt   9%
Other   1%
None in particular   2%
Don’t know/no answer       3%
    100%

“Employers want to see that job candidates have made the effort to dress appropriately for the work environment,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “While a suit isn’t the best choice for every interview, it’s better to err on the side of overdressing versus appearing too casual.”

Lee added that, when in doubt, candidates should consult an insider who works at the company to get advice on the employer’s work style and preferred interview attire. “If you’re working with a recruiter or an HR representative, he or she can advise you on how to dress appropriately.”

Robert Half Technology offers additional tips for selecting proper interview attire:

  • Choose something comfortable. You want to look as relaxed as possible, so avoid uncomfortable clothing. If you buy something new, wear it a few times before your meeting to make sure it fits well and you feel confident in it.
     
  • Pay attention to details. Don’t overlook the less visible -- but no less important -- aspects of your appearance, like your shoes, socks and accessories. Make sure your outfit is free of wrinkles and stains, your hair and nails are well-groomed, and your shoes are polished.  
     
  • Don’t overdo it. Ultimately, you want your experience and skills to be the focus of the interview -- not your outfit. Avoid any distracting clothing, big jewelry, or excessive perfume, cologne or makeup. Also, remember to turn off any electronic “accessories,” such as a cell phone or BlackBerry, before the meeting.

About the Survey
The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the survey to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region, industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of information technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.


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