You work for a technology company… of course you don’t have a dress code.
Is that what you thought I was going to say?
(Give this clip a run)
Would you show up for an interviews wearing jeans and a polo? Unless you actually didn’t want the job, why would anyone show-up dressed to the lowest common denominator? It’s almost as if people think that being competent in your technical area of expertise gives you a free pass. A professional wears a suit (or jacket and tie) to an interview… it’s that simple. I don’t want to hear “… but I write code“, or I’m a sysadmin, or fill-in-the-blank… if you’re a professional, you should act as if you’re a professional. You should not dress like children. I’m continually amazed that I have to tell people this. And no, I don’t care what you think the “corporate culture” dictates. My team needs to be better than the “average corporate culture” that we encounter… we need to be professionals.
Look at it this way… remember the saying… “Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft/IBM?“. Have you ever heard of someone being fired because they dressed, and acted too professionally? Does this sound like a conversation that might ever occur in the real word? “Oh no, count that guy out, he just dressed and acted too much the part. No, I’d much rather have the guy that I’m actually embarrassed for… yeah, that one… the one that I just I know I’ll never be able to put in front of a client.” What employer doesn’t want someone who takes himself and his/her profession seriously? The way you dress sends a message to the people around you about who you are and what you stand for… it just does. People who dress like professionals, get treated like professionals.
What’s that? You really are different? You actually are that mythical 10x employee? Then by all means, secure some VC funding and get out of my office. Oh, not your thing? Then go interview at Facebook, Microsoft, or Google … I hear that works out great for rock star employees. But if you’re going to live in something that looks like the real-world, or isn’t adjacent to San Francisco, then you really should start doing yourself a favor and dressing like a professional. It’s never going to be counted against you. To be clear… the suit won’t get you the job, but it will give you an edge over the next guy who’s equally as a smart. The tie won’t keep the incompetent employed, but it is a reminder to leadership that you have the potential to be more than whatever role you were hired to fill. It’s all of the little edges that add up in life.
So by all means, show up for your interview dressed like a child. That way, I won’t loose a wink of sleep when I offer exactly what your book value appears to be.