The question says it all.
I am shortlisted for a campus interview at a state school in California. I was wondering about the dress code? Should I wear a suit or would it be too much?
EDIT: It's for CSU math position in Northern California.
Academia Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for academics and those enrolled in higher education. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
As a general rule of clothing, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. In that spirit, I would err on the side of dressing a bit more formally than what you anticipate to be "normal" for interviews in your field.
In my interviews, I have seen candidates in the full range of clothing, from jeans and t-shirt all the way to a full suit and tie. Personally, I usually wore simple suit pants and shoes, a simple jacket, and either a long-sleeved shirt or a nice and well-ironed polo shirt. I usually combined a dark-ish suit with a more colorful, less formal, shirt.
That said, it probably does not matter much at all. As I said, I have seen people wear all kinds of clothes to their interview, and I have never seen a correlation with interview success one way or the other.
Of course San Francisco is more formal than LA or Berkeley, but academics in most fields are pretty laid back. If the interview will be long and includes evening events, you might want to have a suit available.