In your opinion, what should women be wearing at the interview? Full suit? Jacket/no jacket? Pants or skirt? Heels or no heels?
Date: 13 Oct 2010 15:51
Number of posts: 18
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Choose a combination that's professional and comfortable. I went with a pantsuit on the job talk day and slacks/sweater on the other days. You want to wear something that doesn't attract too much attention (so nothing too sexy or too casual), that fits well (consider visiting an alterations shop if you're not sure how a suit should fit), and that makes you feel comfortable and confident (so don't pick a skirt you constantly have to smooth down or a blouse that's going to show it if you perspire during your job talk).
As far as shoes go, I've never been confident in heels, so I chose dressy ballet flats. Keep in mind you'll be on your feet during the talk, will likely need to walk all over campus, and may end up standing around for hours late in the day if there's a reception/party for you. The last thing you want to worry about are sore feet!
For your job talk day you should wear a suit (pants w/ jacket). Assuming you have a 2 or 3 day visit, you can wear slacks with a nice top (think Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J Crew esque) or cardigan. For shoes, go with something comfortable but business appropriate. Since a lot of pants seem to be cut to wear with heels I wore heels but make sure they are comfy heels because you will be on your feet quite a bit. I had a pair of black leather dressy boots I wore.
Could you do the job talk in a simple, plain knee length dress in a solid color (navy or grey) with a jacket in black or a contrasting color? Pantsuits do not flatter my figure and I'm wondering about alternative options.
I agree this would be appropriate. You can find some sheath-dress with matching suit jackets.
okay, next earth-shatteringly important question: if you do wear a dress or skirt, should you wear nude hose, dark hose, or bare legs?
I think you can go with whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Not bare legs…that is very unprofessional. I would go with a nude hose….going with a black hose is a little more risque and more appropriate for evening.
Personally I think that norms about women's dress are changing a bare legs are far more acceptable for buisiness attire than they had been in the past. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw a woman in nude panty hose. I honestly can't imagine a faculty member's impression of you being impacted for having bare legs instead of panty hose. I personally would be worried about getting a run in nude panty hose. But perhaps that is just me.
Ahhh….my thing about the hose comes from about 8 years ago working in corporate America where it was a huge no-no. I'd personally be worried about blisters with unprotected feet :-)
Your legs will be cold at many places in the winter if you have bare legs. My first time on the market (this is my 2nd), I got three jobs while interviewing on day 2 in a grey wool dress, black flat knee-high boots, and black tights. The skirt was knee-length, so the tights weren't very visible. I think as long as you look professional, it is OK. I wore a pant suit on day 1.
So you all think you can just do business casual (slacks + some type of professional looking top) for the non-job talk day? And super professional (i.e., suit) for the job talk day?
Would the business casual you wear at a professional conference be suitable?
I did suit on talk day and then pants/jacket and pants/sweater on the other days. To me it's all about looking professional and conservative/respectful while being practical. I can't recall any Psych department I've seen that is going to have a fashion police department, but I figure I will look like an idiot if I show poor judgment in what I wear. Your hosts aren't going to want to walk super slow around campus because you're in 4" heels. No one is going to be impressed with a "wardrobe malfunction" and I didn't want to have to hold a shirt closed or a skirt down to plug my laptop in for my presentation. If it's a really cold climate, bare legs would look odd, if you ask me. Most of all, I did not want to have to worry about my clothes… just be able to focus on what I was saying and have the faculty there do the same.
I agree that you need to be smart and practical about what you are wearing. In my department, we had a candidate one year who spent her whole talk holding the top of her shirt closed. It wasn't particularly low cut, but it became clear that she felt uncomfortable and as she was standing there I think she worried that she was showing too much decolletage. I found that it distracted from her talk.
When I interviewed I did a pant suit on my interview day and slacks and a button-up shirt/blouse on my other days. I bought a pair of professionally looking black boots with about a 2 1/2 inch heel. The heel was a good height to look decent in my pants but not to tall to be uncomfortable.
Where do you keep hanky while taking interview?
I know that this question may sound a bit weird, but this subtle thing does nag me. Say I am wearing shirt and trouser. In interview room, does it look okay to carry your ladies handbag or it looks unprofessional (and draws attention to the gender) and also it can't keep your resume file so you will have to carry the file separately. Does it look better to carry a decent black backpack which can carry resume file. In either case, where do you keep these handbag/backpack? Over the table? put it near leg of the table/chair?
Also, where do you keep your hanky, which you may need anytime if you happen to sneeze. What is standard place and where it looks decent. If I just keep it in my trouser pocket, I think it will look childish and also shape of your trouser (and pocket) will get distorted.
My common sense in this matter is not very sharp. So any input is appreciated.
In case it is relevant, I will be appearing for technical interview for software development position.
and do you carry your water bottle too when going for full day interview? Will it fit in these portfolio bags?
I carried my work "tote", which is a larger professional bag (Tumi) in which I can fit all my purse necessities, handkerchief, water bottle, folder with resumes, and even my laptop for my talk (never never trust the school's laptop!). It's the bag I use daily and at work, so I knew it would work for all my stuff and was comfortable with where everything was/ the weight. I also kept a couple of snack bars in there to eat during bathroom breaks to keep energy up. Good luck!