Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to Wear AGAIN?

Over in Scientopia, I attempt to acquire data on What to Wear for a faculty interview in various academic disciplines. What is considered typical interview-wear for men and women? What is the range of generally acceptable attire? I get this question a lot, and now I seek nothing less than to create a comprehensive guide, keeping in mind that some advice will be strange and wrong.


Anonymous said...

After reading the comments over at the other blog, it sounds like women faculty need to worry about their clothes falling into the following categories:

-- too dressy (people may think you are either incompetent or administrative staff or both)

-- too flashy or accidentally revealing (hate those gaps in button shirts while teaching)

-- too informal (people might think you are a student)

-- too uncomfortable

-- too bright of color

-- too masculine or too feminine

What's left to wear?!

Anonymous said...

Come on, people, just wear a moderate, neutral suit with comfortable shoes! A job interview is not the time to show everyone what a fun, crazy personality you have. A job interview is the time to show that you are professional, intelligent and capable of becoming a leader in your field. You can use your second visit to prove that you can drink everyone in the department under the table while wearing a thoroughly geeky T-shirt.

Anonymous said...

Whether you should wear a suit depends on your field, though. I have either been employed or had successful interviews at universities in the east/south, midwest, and west, and a suit would be weird for men or women. Men can wear a sport jacket and women can wear a skirt, and no one would hold it against anyone who wore a real suit, but it would be a bit strange in many earth science departments throughout the US. Those with close connections to industry might be more suit-oriented, I suppose.

Graeme said...

I interviewed in Physics and Math departments, and the first few times I just asked the search committee chair in advance what would be appropriate and erred on the more formal side of that. For men, a shirt with a collar and dress slacks seemed to be the minimum, and a sport jacket was completely normal. A tie is optional. Especially in math departments, a full suit seemed like it would be too formal.

Whatever it is you wear, don't let it make you look uncomfortable---put it on and wear it out in the world a couple of times before you go. People can look pretty stiff when they're not used to the clothes they're wearing. And if it doesn't fit, find something else to wear.

I don't have much specific to say for women, other than to say that women's suits generally look a little less formal than men's and, since there doesn't seem to be a sport jacket equivalent, I'd say it's a good choice.