Friday, December 29, 2006

Why do candidates

have to wear suits to job interviews in philosophy. No one wears a suit on any other occasion in our business. If you wear a tie to teach or give a presentation, you are considered somewhat old fashioned. Someone who wore a full suit would just look like a dork--or someone on their way to a job interview.

So what does it tell the interviewers that I wear my one good suit? That I could at one point afford to spend $400 on an outfit? That I know how to tie a tie? That I am willing to follow academic customs, no matter how arbitrary or irrational?

In other news, I kicked ass in my interview with NY College of Technology. I think I'd be a good fit and it would be a good place for me to work.

7 comments:

Teri said...

It tells them that you want the job - which is attractive to potential employers. They don't want to go through all the work of making you an offer, only to have it rejected.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and while we're at it, why do I have to wear pants outside? Why do people wear tuxedoes (pl?) when they get married in the morning?

Actually I think it is easier if we wear suits--one less thing to worry about. And given the attire at the A.P.A., many philosophers can use all the help in the world not looking like 16 year old boys in their brother's bar mitzvah suit.

I think most candidates look like dorks on their way to job interviews in their suits, anyway. The suit exists merely to relieve the pressure of having to "dress well."

C.A.

Anonymous said...

Actually the more I think about it, I don't think it is for the interviewers at all. You could show up wearing more casual clothing if you wanted, but then you have to worry that someone might interpret that the wrong way. Since every little thing counts when trying to make a good impression, controlling those aspects of personal appearance that are under one's control. I don't know what to make of those studies that claim to show that taller men make more money and thinner people are more likely to get jobs and better looking people get better teaching evaluations, but if we grant for the sake of argument that there is some truth in there somewhere, then it seems simply prudent to try to effect the pre-conconscious affective dispositions of your interviewers in a positive light. So, assuming you have a good looking suit, you should feel lucky to get to wear it.

C.A. again--the blogger comment software annoys. doesn't let you post on the first try most of the time.

Carin said...

Hey Robert -- Is this City Tech? In Brooklyn? You'd like it there.
PS: I agree with Colin.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Yup. It's City Tech. I'm trying not to get too excited: chickens before they hatch etc.

Clearly I should just give up on the suit thing, although as far as I'm concerned, Colin shouldn't have to wear pants outside.

Carin said...

Colin doesn't have to wear pants outside, because he's a Scot and can wear a skirt. Trick question.

Benn said...

You don't have to wear pants. In this time of ever-expanding waistlines it is perfectly acceptable to wear a Mu'umu'u.