With hoodies, joggers, and beanies being like the uniform of developers, deciding what to wear for an interview or tech event can be quite confusing. Comfortable and casual dress is one of the perks of working in a startup company and as those companies expand, they want to find someone who fits their culture. Now, that does3n’t mean that once you get your job you have to wear hoodies, joggers, and beanies (unless you want to you, of course!). During an interview or tech event, showing that you can present yourself in a professional and friendly manner is always a good thing.
So as you charge ahead to your interview, conference, or friendly neighbourhood Chic Geek MeetnTech, take these style tips with you and dress like the Chic Geek you are.
Let’s start with some rules that shouldn’t be broken.
When it comes to footwear, keep it simple and sleek
I used to be a boot-loving girl throughout University. But once those late nights started happening in the lab, I bought my first pair of sneakers outside of the ones for gym use and haven’t looked back. With the surge of casual and comfy fashion and athleisure, sneakers are a must-have for any wardrobe. Even so, try to avoid wearing sneakers to an interview. Luckily, almost anything else will work. Boots (without the fur), kitten heels, flats — any of those are good.
Stay away from athletic wear
Yes, this includes yoga pants. Having other interests is a great thing and totally interesting if you can smoothly bring it up during an interview, but you don’t want your interviewer to think you just got out of the gym.
Fashion is something that should be enjoyed and personal and I’m a strong believer in looking good, feeling good, doing good. And while interesting fashion choices are great conversation starters, you’re getting interviewed for your skills and that’s where you should make yourself memorable. You don’t want to be the inappropriately dressed interviewee story your interviewer uses to break the ice with in the future. My rule of thumb is: if you won’t wear it to meet your partner’s parents, it’s also a hard no for interviews.
As for rules that can sometimes be broken?
Oh, the fashion staple of university students, cowboys, and developers. I’m a firm supporter of wearing jeans to an event or interview as they’re comfortable, fashionable, and so easy to match. Stay away from jeans that are too distressed, faded, or light wash though. These appear too casual and could make your interviewer feel like you don’t respect them enough to dress up for an interview.
So this might be kind of a weird one but from what I’ve noticed with developers and designers, we all bring a backpack to work. If you’re jumping from a class to an interview or you were working earlier, a backpack is nothing you should ever be ashamed to take into an interview. It doesn’t even need to be a backpack that matches your outfit. Just make sure it’s clearly used for practical purposes sizewise.
Layering is a great way to show off your fashionable side without showing an inappropriate amount of skin for an interview. A see-through chiffon top paired with a cute cami is super trendy and easy, breezy, beautiful. Remember, less is more so be mindful of how much skin you are revealing. When wearing a see through top for your interview, try to stick to only showing off the arms.
Be comfortable. You might have to write on a whiteboard if you’re in a technical interview so make sure you’re in an outfit you can dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge in.
If you’re stuck on an outfit, start with the shoes first. Think of which pair of shoes you want to wear that is the most weather appropriate for your event and build your outfit up from there. Do you have to walk outside before your event? Also consider what you’re comfortable walking in as some interviews include an office tour. Save yourself from the embarrassment of making those slooshing sounds when you walk. Nothing is worse than sweaty or wet feet.
Keep your hair out of your face. Same as above, you don’t want to have hair in your eyes when you’re doing a coding challenge or networking. Your hair doesn’t need to be up but a cute ponytail is always a good way to go.
Choose bright colours. Especially if you make it to the ‘meet the team’ interview, choosing bright colours will give off a brighter and friendlier image to your potential coworkers and nerf war allies.
Remember, you don’t need a totally new wardrobe. You probably already have the perfect outfit in your wardrobe.
Have a chic 2019!