CIOs Weigh in on "Suit"able Attire for Interviews

December 22, 2008 ( - While IT professionals may dress casually on the job, those looking for work should be more formal, a new survey suggests.

The survey developed by Robert Half Technology found a formal business suit ranked as the most appropriate interview attire (35%) by chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed. According to a press release, more than a quarter (26%) of CIOs said khakis and a collared shirt was most appropriate for interviews by IT professionals wanting a job in their companies.

Tailored separates (e.g., skirt and blouse, jacket and dress pants) ranked third on the list, the press release said. Only 9% of CIOs surveyed said jeans and a polo shirt were appropriate for IT professionals to wear on an interview.

“While a suit isn’t the best choice for every interview, it’s better to err on the side of overdressing versus appearing too casual,” suggested Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in the announcement.

Two percent of survey respondents indicated they had no preference on interview attire.

The survey is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.