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Can I Wear a Hoodie to the Interview?

Couple things here: 1) It probably depends on the color, style, and cleanliness of said hoodie; 2) If you’re not Mark Zuckerberg, you may want to reconsider. While wearing a hoodie may seem to put some people on the fast track to tech company success, you would have to be something really special to pull that look off in a normal interview. Are you that special? Probably not.

Fear not, mere mortal. You can still bring your casual, yet nerdy, professional self to the interview. Here are a few simple reminders:

Know the uniform. Start by finding some people that work at this place. What do they wear? Chances are there is probably some sort of undocumented uniform that 85% of the workers don on a daily basis. Then you may want to meet or slightly exceed that look at the interview. Don’t be too fancy if it’s not the norm.

Don’t force it. If wearing a suit is going to make you break out in hives, then opt for what makes you feel your best. Chances are a suit is not necessary. Err on the side of looking professional, neat and put together. No one wants to hire a slob.

Look in the mirror. If you don’t scare yourself, you’re off to a good start. Would you hire you?

Find an honest friend. Now go show off your interview outfit to your most blatantly honest friend. You know the one. If that person looks at you without as much as a sarcastic one-liner, feel free to proceed.

Show you care. Always come to the interview looking like you made a real effort to be your best. And, if you’re still insistent on wearing a hoodie, at least make sure your hoodie strings are even.