I have a skype interview coming up soon. I wonder should I dress up formally (suit + tie) given that they are going to see me?
Date: 26 Oct 2013 13:13
Number of posts: 7
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It depends on whose interviewing. For a tenure-track or visiting assistant professor position, I'd definitely dress formal. For a post-doc, it could vary. I say that because I dressed less formally (still put a tie on) for a set of Skype interviews I had for a post-doc position and it all went very well for me. Generally, I'd say treat a Skype interview like a formal interview. And, be sure you have a solid Internet connection somewhere private where you won't be bothered! Watch out for stuff in the background, too.
Definitely don't wear pants!
Seriously, though, look nice, but at some schools a jacket might be overkill. If it's the kind if school where professors wear jackets and/or tailored clothes, then wear those things. But, especially at schools that are more informal / have an anti-establishment vibe, a jacket might read wrong. You want to signal to them that you're professional and prepared, but — especially if you don't normally wear suits — a suit *might* look awkward, or send slightly the wrong message. Look sharp and know your audience.
I'm uncertain of whether a tie and jacket is an optional pair when it comes to an academic interview. I wore such with all of my interviews (and would have for a tenure-track position interview via Skype). I ended up getting interviews and offers from schools where faculty obviously didn't wear a suit/jacket/tie. It's good to send the message that you, the candidate, are taking the interview seriously and are a professional - especially if you look young. But, that's just my thought on this.
I agree with DocJ. Even in settings where everyone typically addresses very very casually (like where you cannot really tell if the people are homeless or faculty members) a candidate who dresses well is sending the message that they take the place seriously and respect the moment appropriately. In academics, people are not going to be judged based on the wearing the latest or most expensive clothes but showing a modicum of respect can mean a great deal about the esteem with which you hold the institution and the opportunity.
Important point: you can subtract one item of formal attire for every first author Nature or Science paper you have.