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I was invited to a job interview in an IT company as a software developer. I've looked at their website and there is no indication on the "dress code" for the company.

How can I find out what should I wear? I have not answered the email confirming the date and time, can I just ask?

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When going in for a job interview always dress up.

Dress pants, a button down, long sleeved (even in the summer) shirt, and possibly a tie are the bare minimum. A jacket would not go amiss in an ideal situation, however.

Dress Pants

If you don't have a pair of dress pants substitute a pair of dark jeans, however make sure they don't have flashy designs, of fade patterns on them. I would strongly suggest investing in a pair of dress pants.

Shirt

As far as shirts are concerned, make sure it's ironed, button it up all the way, and leave the sleeves down. Make sure it's not a "clubbing" type of shirt, by the way. Standing out is fine, but you also want to be taken seriously.

Tie

A tie is kind of optional in some ways. I always prefer to wear one (a simple dark tie with a light, solid color shirt) because I want to make a killer first impression, but some people don't own too many ties, or not an appropriate one, and that's fine. You can probably leave the collar button popped open if you don't have one.

Jacket

The jacket is optional,as I said, however I think it really enhances your professional appearance to wear one. It doesn't have to be matched as a suit, it can be simply a "sport's jacket", as long as it matches the rest of your clothes.

Shoes

Dark (black or brown depending on your clothes) dress shoes are advised, unless the weather doesn't permit it (such as it being the dead of winter). Even then you may want to bring them with you and put them on in the washroom.

First Day

If you get the job and show up for your first day it's not a bad idea to be just as dressed up as for the interview, as you'll probably get the tour of the company and meet a lot of managers, supervisors, etc. At that time you can also see what everyone else is wearing and adjust your dress style from there on out.

Adapted for Women

It's been pointed out that I don't cover specifically female fashion. My advice is very generic:

  • You can substitute a business-style skirt instead of dress pants (weather allowing)
  • You can wear a blouse instead of a shirt, of course
  • Don't wear very tall heels, thigh-high boots, or platform shoes, as those are not associated with professional environments
  • A tie may or may not "work" with your personal style. I haven't met too many women who enjoy wearing them, and, lucky for you, you're not really expected to, so do as you please
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  • Side note: Some companys specifically tell you what they expect. For instance the company I was interviewing at wanted me to come in in very casual clothes, as that would be what I would be wearing at the job. – mag Jan 25 '16 at 13:51
  • @Magisch - interesting. I've never experienced that. The closest I've come is contacting a company and informing them that because I was leaving half-way through my work day in the dead of winter I would not be able to change into formal clothing, and that I would be showing up in heavy winter gear, lol. They were sympathetic, as it was the coldest winter we've experienced in a few decades. – AndreiROM Jan 25 '16 at 13:53
  • Company Im now working at is a small business. The owner told me to come in as I would normally hang around at home, minus the jogging pants. Beeing IT in a small company and having to wear antistatic gear all day anyways (White labcoat / sandals), clothing really is no issue here. – mag Jan 25 '16 at 13:55
  • @Magisch - it's nice when the interview is so relaxed. However, many companies use the way you dress as just one more filter in cutting out "unsuitable" candidates. For example, when deciding between two people with killer resumes the one who looks more "put together" might get the job because he seems more organized/attentive to detail. Maybe it's because I'm Eastern European, but I have a strong bias against people who show up to interviews with un-ironed clothes, in jeans, with dirty shoes, etc. I get that it's not the decisive factor, but I'm aware that I look at those things. – AndreiROM Jan 25 '16 at 14:00
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    Could you complement your answer with some female clothing advice? The gender is not specified in the question, and it currently looks like mostly menswear advice. It is just a matter of shirt being a blouse and tie not being advised. Otherwise this is very solid detailed advise. – Amber Jan 25 '16 at 15:01
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Yes, just ask. At times, I went quite overdressed, but was able to remove the tie after having a glimspe at possible future co-workers. If you are there early enough.

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Just ask.

I you cannot or do not want to, here are some guidelines:

If it is a startup you may get by with 'smart casual'.

However 'business casual' is usually a minimum for an interview and in more conservative fields "business' attire may be called for.

If in doubt, go for the more formal attire.

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You can dress more formally and remove items if you feel uncomfortable. If they're going to have you at the white board, take off the jacket, loosen/remove the tie and roll your sleeves up.

If you have time, do some recon and observe people from the company coming and going. You can learn a lot from this:

  1. When/if they leave for lunch
  2. What hours do they keep.
  3. How they dress.

For an interview, I would dress a step-up. If they wear dress shirts, wear a tie. If they have on jeans & t-shirts, wear dress pants and shirt.

This isn't always practical especially if you're doing the interview at a cafe and not the corporate office. Multi-tenant buildings can make things difficult if you don't know what people look like (LinkedIn?). You may have to get closer to the actual office either by seeing who goes to what floor (hang out in the lobby by the elevator) or roam their floor and see if you spot anyone.

How they present themselves professionally on the web can offer some insight. If them CEO of the company is pictured wearing a suit, wear a suit.

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