I have said before that giving advice about interviewing for jobs often lands the adviser in a tangle, not least because there are so few jobs now that anything might knock you out of the running.
After reading this morning's career advice column in IHE, let me just say this:
1. I am a woman. (We need to get this out of the way.)
2. I have sat on several interview committees.
3. We have interviewed many, many women.
4. Those women were not usually wearing suits.
5. Unless we were considered somehow unworthy of a suit, they presumably were not wearing suits to any of their other interviews, either.
5. When I have interviewed, I have not worn a suit. I have worn professional dress clothes--a blazer, a nice blouse, etc. (I do own one skirt suit, which I had to buy when I was called in for a campus fly-out when I was on the wrong side of the country. Otherwise, I would have worn the aforementioned professional dress clothes.) And yet, I am employed.
6. If you are interviewing at Drew University, and the author is on your search committee, then you might need to wear a suit.
7. Otherwise, dress appropriately for a professional situation, and do not worry about this sort of thing.
(We will put to one side the author's somewhat puzzling belief that a woman who is well-dressed, and yet not wearing a matching suit, fails to exude the appropriate "professionalism," given that women do not necessarily wear suits in professional situations, or that a well-dressed but non-suit-wearing candidate is not taking the job search "seriously." Really? Really?)