Tech Nerd job interview question

If you were a man interviewing for a job as a tech nerd (meant with the utmost respect, BTW), is there anything wrong with wearing a suit to the interview? Is something else more appropriate?

I try to be one step up in dress code than the interviewers up to suit and tie. Ask what the dress code for a normal day in the office, then a 1 step upgrade. If they’re board shorts and flip flops, blue jeans and a polo. If they’re blue jeans and polo, then slacks and button down maybe a tie. If they’re slacks and button down, then suit and tie.


Since this is likely an office environment, at the least dress coat and pants. I’d recommend a tie, under-dressing is probably worse than over-dressing. I think this pretty much holds true. Even for less “office positions” a sports coat and decent jeans at least makes a statement you give a damn about the interview. I think attire reflects more an attitude towards wanting the job.

there is only one thing that you should wear to an interview

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Be sure to hand you cape to the Admin Assisstant and say “That’s dear. Thank you.” Showing good manners and the thank you are important.

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just make sure that the lining matches the cummerbund. A lot of people just go with a basic black lining (or even get a cape with no lining, the cads), but an interviewer will notice the little details like that

You are missing the monocle for that setup.

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I work for a bank. But in a tech building. So we are a mix of jeans and collared shirt, up through suit every day of the week. Maybe 60 percent of the staff in jeans on any given day. Most of my candidates are well put together business casual, and that works for me. But if they were interviewing at another one of our offices two miles away, it could be different. That site is more business focused, and has partner companies visiting, so it seems like a much higher percentage are in suits, and it might be expected at the interview.

For me, it is better to overdress than underdress. How you present yourself is always part of the evaluation, and how you are dressed is always part of how you present yourself. But we also expect that you go a step above on the interview compared to day to day, so we like seeing candidates a little over dressed. But all that said, what you know technically, and what you can communicate, and even how well it appears you can learn are all higher priorities.

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well i don’t know if he needs vision correction or not. obviously

I agree with @kbraby. Dress UP for any interview unless they deliberately tell you otherwise. I have interviewed a large number of candidates over the years and while I look for a lot of different things in an interview, first impressions start the interview. At least in the businesses I’ve been in, which have all been software businesses, long term dress code is usually casual, but I like it when interviewees come in looking their best. I challenge them with coding tests, lots of technical questions and team oriented questions, but looking good just says “I want this job!” If they fail at the other questions, though, no amount of looking good will make up for it.

There is never anything wrong with wearing a suit to an interview. Any interview.

ETA: You can often get away with less, the unspoken rule that you should dress “one level up” from workday wherever you are interviewing. If they wear jeans, wear business casual. If they wear business casual, wear a coat.

But a suit and tie will never offend anyone. Ever.


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Almost every interview I’ve ever had has been wearing jeans and a tee shirt and usually the interviewer was also wearing jeans and a tee shirt. It depends on the kind of business and the culture of that business.

The most dressed up I’ve ever gotten is a sport coat and no tie for an interview with an aerospace and defense company. It was the right move there because of the corporate culture.

If you’re not sure then default to dressing up like a sport coat and maybe a tie. It’s more likely that someone will look down on you for underdressing than for overdressing.


Except for supervillains, amiright?

Collared button down woven shirt with a sports coat if it’s not June-August.

Don’t wear an ill fitted suit over a well fitted shirt and khakis…

In almost 3 decades of tech work, having clean non cuffed pants, simple plain leather shoes/boots, and a non stained shirt is enough.


That means a new shirt for a lot of us.


When I worked at Texas Instruments I would go back to my alma-mater, The Ohio State University, and interview the students at the Job Fairs. On the night before the Job Fair the major companies would give a presentation about their company and offer free pizza. Heh, free food always attracted the students plus I would give away several nice TI calculators as door prizes. During my presentation pitch about TI the question would come up about the dress code for the interviews. I told the students that I personally didn’t care what they wore. Wear whatever you wear during a normal day on campus. They were students first, job seekers second.

However, there was one piece of advice that I would always tell the students. At a Job Fair, approach the interviewer with a firm handshake, state your name…but do NOT hand over your resume. Take the next 2 minutes to state your major, what type of job you are seeking, and something special about the firm that excited you. After your 2 minute well prepared speech has been delivered…then hand over your resume. You see, if you immediately hand over your resume, then the interviewer is not listening to what you are saying. They are too busy looking over your resume. As the interviewer I learned more about the student when I gave them their chance to speak first. Plus as a bonus, I could tell which student had attended the pizza party the night before. If they held back their resume, they were there.


@richmeyer Little things are often much more important than what we assume are bigger things. Nice advice.

That’s why some of us have homes we will pay off next year and, well… The other. (Response to hidden down-voted comment above)

perhaps i should clarify, as i feel that my comment may have been misconstrued. That name is a colloquialism for a shop that sell marijuana and assorted paraphernalia.

And well… you’re not wrong about that

I’m well aware of the colloquialism and have been for at least 30 years :slight_smile:

And I didn’t down-vote your comment.

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