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Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:22 pm
by Mark S.
Hi, I just found out that I have my first (campus) interview for a faculty position (at a liberal arts school), and I'm excited about it. I don't want to screw up something like my attire, and I was wondering if anyone had advice about how I should dress.

Is a suit too much? I've heard that to be the case, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions? Thanks!!!

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:24 pm
by Radin
You will look completely out of place if you wear a suit. Wear somethig nice, but not too stuffy. And don't get too excited about working at a liberal arts college. You will probably be paid only 50K.

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:54 pm
by Dave Jensen
C. Uba says, "And don't get too excited about working at a liberal arts college. You will probably be paid only 50K."

I think it is a bit unfair to zap someone in this way. There are a lot of people I know who are professors at liberal arts colleges. They love the life they have chosen. While some of them may earn the $50K you mention, others earn considerably more, and have a very high degree of respect on campus.

You've shown us the promise of some interesting insights, C. Uba, and I hope you will stick with us and become a frequent poster. I would very much appreciate it if you could not go too far down the road of sarcasm, as you never know what a person's goal in life is, and perhaps it is happiness as a professor in a small college.

Dave Jensen, Moderator

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:40 pm
by Bill L. & Naledi S.
Hi Ma,

I'm going to recommend that you do wear a suit - with tie, if you're a male. If there is an issue of you being over dressed (and I don't think there will be - you want to project a professional image), you can remove the jacket. At liberal arts institutions I've worked at, candidates wore suit, or nice slacks (not khaki) and jacket. Women could go slacks or skirt with their suit, or matching jacket. Whatever you are, go for low heels - if they walk you around campus, you'll prefer it.

Good luck and congrats!

Bill L. & Naledi S.

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:26 pm
by Ric Weibl
Ma,
I'm with Bill and Naledi (and Dave too) on this one.

One note ... be comfortable in the clothes and shoes you will wear. Wearing new shoes to an interview can make for a very long day as you walk from building to building. If you need to buy new shoes, break them in for a week or two.

Ric

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:37 pm
by Macc
I would also recommend wearing a suit for your first interview. It is important to tell your employer that you are serious about the job. First impressions are so important, be safe and put on a comfortable suit.

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:25 pm
by Jane
Last year during one interview, my husband had been questioned (by several) whether he would wear a suit if he were teaching there. The majority of the department faculty had jeans! The first impression is, of course, important. But, if the dress code in one particular institute was different from the norm, then wearing a suit could be too formal. Is there anyway for candidates to get a hint?

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:41 pm
by Mark S.
Thanks for all the comments. I think I'm set with a new suit that looks good without being stuffy/formal. It's better to look good than to feel good, and I agree I can always take off the jacket, if necessary.
Thanks again.

Dress code for interview

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:11 pm
by Rich Lemert
There is a huge difference between an interview and day-to-day operations. In the interview you are a salesman, and you should present a professional experience that highlights the quality of your product. A suit is the traditional (and safest) way of showing this, but if you can pull off the professional look with more "casual" attire (I've seen people do this with jackets and turtlenecks) more power to you.

While you're at the interview, though, you'll need to take note of what others are wearing. Does the place look fairly formal with everyone in suits, or is it more laid-back? Will you be comfortable in that environment.