Re: dressing for job interviews

Subject: Re: dressing for job interviews
From: Iggy <iggy_1996dp -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 05:44:56 -0800 (PST)

> Do you have to wear a suit?

Unless your mother is holding your ear and threatening
you with a large wooden spoon, no, you don't HAVE to
wear a suit. You are a grown adult and can wear
whatever you like.


A suit doesn't hurt.

I HATE wearing suits. They are the direct opposite of
who I am. I find them extremely uncomfortable and
always feel rigid when I wear them. And yes, I wear
custom-tailored suits, so I can't use the excuse that
they are low-quality suits or that they don't fit me

But despite how I feel toward suits, I will more than
not wear one to an interview, as it's a corporate
formality that, though may not be expected anymore, is
still an ingredient of a successful interview.

No matter what anyone tells you, looks DO count.

> But not that I'm in high-tech,
> well ... I wonder if the
> people who came up with that rule anticipated
> anything like this business,
> which is sometimes so casual that you risk (I think)
> looking out of touch if
> you show up in a suit.

I know writers who interview in the company's dress
code. One wore a sweater and jeans, and got the job.

> I've run this past a few of my tech writing
> colleagues here in Boston and the
> majority opinion I've gotten is: you should wear a
> suit to show respect for
> the situation and, even if you look a little out of
> place on the day of the
> interview, the interviewers should be understanding
> about that, given that
> it's a job interview. In the same vein, the other
> comment I've heard is that
> if you were a suit, it really can't count against
> you, but if you don't wear
> a suit it can.

An unfortunate truth. Wearing a suit, at worst, shows
professionalism and care of presentation. Like I said,
looks DO matter.

> Also, some have said that it's okay
> to dress down a bit on a
> second interview, but make sure you wear a suit on
> the first. I'm starting to
> lean toward this point of view (the pro-suit view)
> but am wondering what
> other people's thoughts are on this...?

Weat the suit for the first interview, and if you feel
very much at home witht he company and they feel
comfortable with you, feel free to dress down a bit
for subsequent interviews. But, still dress sharp, as
you never know who they'll direct you toward and how
important their impressions of you might be.

> I'm sure Boston is more formal than Austin, though.

Don't bet on it. Yes, the temperature forces *most*
New Englanders to wear more clothes than you Texans,
but unless you're in the legal or financial circuits,
it's pretty much "don't show up naked".

> Want to score a job with a bank, hell yes, you're
> going to come in suit

That's a given. Any business whose livelihood is based
on professional presentation to consumers pretty much
mandate suits for a positive interview. Some still
require them for dat-to-day attire.

> You could also ring the company and ask reception or
> the person taking
> the interview about their dresscode. Worked for me.

A very sensible practice.

> I tend to wear a dressy black turtle-neck with a
> nice jacket, black pants
> and well-shined shoes.
> Get a pair of fake designer glasses, even if you
> don't need them. I have
> real glasses since I'm blind without them, but
> they're transparent green
> rimmed. The last thing I want to be is forgettable.

This can work, but it can also fail. "Unforgettable"
is very subjective...

> Also, make sure you slip in the interviewers name
> at least three times in
> the first two minutes as you speak.

The name game works well. Unfortunately I suck at
remembering people's names. Fortunately I have
conversational charm to back me up. ;)

> I have a different opinion. My view is that
> sometimes if you DO wear a suit, it
> can be disadvantageous. The deciding factor is the
> specific job you want and the
> region where the job is.

You mean, know your audience and cater to them? What a
concept! I'd better write that down! *lol*

Of course I'm joking in agreement, and am definitely
NOT laughing AT you. :)

> Wear a suit to the first interview. Just make sure
> its nice and reasonably trendy.

Damn! Time to ditch the derby and calf-garters then?

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