I'll be graduating from college soon and was wondering how I should dress for an interview?

I'm applying for a variety of different technical jobs in Canada, from software developer, software analyst, website developer, database admin, and consultant roles.

I was thinking of wearing a formal suit and tie to the interviews, but I've also read that wearing a suit for a technical interview may be too much. I'm considering wearing a shirt and tie and nice slacks instead. For these types of jobs, what should I wear to make the best impression?


2 Answers 2


How to dress really depends on where you go for interview. Different companies have different dress code and different expectations for appearance of the candidate. While in banks you may need to appear in formal dress with tie etc, you may go in business casual or even jeans to interview on small startup. The best tactics here is just to just ask directly your interviewer during your phone call about appropriate dress style. Hope this helps.

  • The age of the interviewer is key too. The older the person dong the interview the more likely they are to subscribe to the "must wear a suit" philosphy. Dressing better than the interviewer would not be taken wrong at any place I ever interviewed with. Granted you don't want to dress up too formally if they are informal, but nice slacks and dress shirt would be good at all but the most formal places. You also have to take into consideration the type of job you are applying for. Programmers have more leeway than lawyers, senior managers, or customer-facing positions.
    – HLGEM
    Dec 3, 2013 at 21:47

An appendix to VKroz' answer:

The usual recommendation by HR experts is to dress in the same style and level of formality that the workers in the company or department that you apply for wear in their everyday business life.

A job interview is not a marriage or funeral. You must show your respect (and not dress sloppy), but you also must show that you know what you are applying for, so overdressing is a sign that you are ignorant and subtracts from your value. Outside of politics and top management, never dress better than your boss!

If you forgot or cannot ask the person that you will talk to (as VKroz recommends), you might look at the website of the company. They often have photographs of staff, and usually these photos are taken at work during working hours. Look how they dress. That is how you should dress to the job interview.

If there aren't any photos on the web, find comparable companies.


Don't be confused that the HR personnell will probably be wearing suits. Their role is to represent the company, and they usually dress impeccably. Don't imitate them, if you apply for a job as a programmer.

Last warning:

Wear something that fits and becomes you. Putting on an expensive suit from your tall friend that hangs on you like a sack will not help you. Better wear a pullover that compliments you and comment on it, if a suit was expected ("I know I'm not really dressed for the occasion, but ..." – be creative here, in the end you are hired for how well you handle obstacles, not your dress).

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