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French cuffs okay for a job interview? (legal) - Page 3

post #31 of 47
I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bateman View Post
So I have law firm interviews coming up, and I'm agonizing a bit over what I'm going to wear.

I bought a new Z-line Zegna suit (navy blue with a light pinstripe) from Harry Rosen this week which I'm intending on wearing. I'm considering wearing a french cuff shirt, with some nice silver cufflinks. However, I've been told that the legal profession (where I live at least, in Vancouver, CA) is typified by very conservative dress. I feel like I may already be pushing it with the pinstripe over a solid colour, so I'm worried whether french cuffs might be over the edge?
post #32 of 47
I personally find french cuffs and contrast collars obnoxious on anyone other than a partner
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bateman View Post
"i hear you have a rotation for your articling students, a mentorship program, and an open door policy? I like that about your general service corporate firm. If I were to choose any of the other identical firms in the city, I would most certainly choose yours." Man...I was set on wearing the cuffs after the first page. Then the second page has been predominantly negative. I think I'm going to try them on when I pick up my suit, and see how I feel about them then. On one hand, they may be that last extra "little bit" that pushes the outfit over the top in a hiring partner's mind. On the other hand, they may be the last "little bit" that pushes the outfit into the douche-zone...
Most french cuffs with subtle cufflinks wouldn't even be noticed at a law firm, that being said it's certainly safer to wear button cuffs. I'm not sure if 'safer' is always a good thing since that depends on how you sell yourself.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseman40 View Post
I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.

No, you are misunderstanding the answers. It’s not a matter of style per se, not a matter of suit vs. jeans and t-shirt. And it’s not a matter of the culture of the firm, so find another one. It would be the same answer for an office of any similar profession, be it law, banking or consulting. I agree that it would be a completely different issue in Europe, but that’s irrelevant since he is not interviewing for a position in Europe.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseman40 View Post
I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.
French cuffs are perceived as being flashy, and that isn't necessarily the image you want to present as a young student interviewing for an entry level job. This is basic stuff, knowing how to dress for business is all about knowing your audience. A button cuff is simpler, and less likely to give cause for a negative impression. It's for the same reason that you don't want to pick a flashy or distracting tie when going to an interview. It may not be a problem, but there's really nothing to gain by pushing the envelope in an interview.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseman40 View Post
I must say that I'm a bit shocked at the question. If French cuffs offend a law firm in the USA these days ..then you are interviewing at the wrong firm. What is their idea of style ..a T-shirt written with obscenities and a baseball cap? Seems as though THAT is currently high-style in the USA . Come to Europe ..where we KNOW how to dress for business.

T-shirt written with obscenities exist all over Europe - I would say to a far greater extent. In fact there is a famous Spanish brand. And we can start talking about all sorts of European headwear... but that would be digressing.

If you believe that is the "high-style" in the US, you are obviously missing out on many forum threads. Again there are many European examples we can talk about too (e.g. Chavs)... but that too would be digressing.

I have worked with plenty of lawyers worldwide. Depending on their clientele and degree of professionalism - there is always a hierarchy of dress. Interns and entry-levels never outdress the partners. Never. Whether in the US, Europe, or Asia, this holds true.

You must be thinking of small offices or self-employed people.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBer View Post
+1 spot-on!

Frankly I *ding* all the people who come to an entry-level (or junior-level) interview trying to dress like a partner or managing director.

Oh for Christsakes!

How about sizing up skills, intellect, and personality rather than whether the guy is wearing French cuffs? The type of cuffs a candidate wears has about as much to do with whether he is trying to dress like a managing director as the brand of toothpaste he uses in the morning.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhills0146 View Post
Oh for Christsakes!

How about sizing up skills, intellect, and personality rather than whether the guy is wearing French cuffs? The type of cuffs a candidate wears has about as much to do with whether he is trying to dress like a managing director as the brand of toothpaste he uses in the morning.

There's a huge difference between the question of toothpaste brand (which is applied surreptitiously in one's bathroom in the wee hours of the morning) and the question of cufflinks, which glares in the employer's face like fiery signals-- in a handshake, cufflinks will most certainly be noticed, and if they are too ambitious, they may reflect something in the candidate that the employer will either embrace or shy away from.

Also, consult signature.
post #39 of 47
Giant gold sailboats for the links will say, "Admiral, hire me."


- B
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Giant gold sailboats for the links will say, "Admiral, hire me."


- B

I lol'd
post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ideefixee View Post
...question of cufflinks, which glares in the employer's face like fiery signals-- in a handshake, cufflinks will most certainly be noticed...

I disagree, and will now bow out of this thread and remain happy that I am not an attorney if this is the kind of nonsense that hiring partners even notice, let alone act on.
post #42 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhills0146 View Post
I disagree, and will now bow out of this thread and remain happy that I am not an attorney if this is the kind of nonsense that hiring partners even notice, let alone act on.

... Never said it was a sole determining factor. There are lots of factors when placing your trust in a complete stranger about whom you know nothing, save for what he's wearing.
post #43 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Giant gold sailboats for the links will say, "Admiral, hire me."


- B

you really really like those cufflinks, huh? Maybe he'll sell them to you if the price is right, or you can do an exchange; all those ae seconds are a valuable currency around these parts...
post #44 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhills0146 View Post
Oh for Christsakes!

How about sizing up skills, intellect, and personality rather than whether the guy is wearing French cuffs? The type of cuffs a candidate wears has about as much to do with whether he is trying to dress like a managing director as the brand of toothpaste he uses in the morning.

Please. Some us prefer tooth powder.

post #45 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBer View Post
+1 spot-on!

What is it with all these interview clothing threads? Applying for an entry level position (intern in this thread), but wants to dress like a partner. I would think the ego comes across in the interview. Frankly I *ding* all the people who come to an entry-level (or junior-level) interview trying to dress like a partner or managing director. That type of personality won't fit in unless it's an unconventional firm. It shows to me that you have an over inflated sense of self-worth and won't be happy with entry-level tasks. This would not be a problem I want to deal with considering the job market (especially among JDs), when there are so many others to choose from. Why take the risk?

I am assuming you interned last year. What was your first summer job like? Did the entry-levels/ interns wear french cuffs?

Dress is certainly part of the professionalism score. However it is normally not viewed negatively unless you do something departing far from what is expected for that said level and company culture.

In Vancouver the law students don't intern first year, only second year (called "summer articling" as well instead of "interning"). It's essentially an extended job interview, as the firms look to hire from their second year summer students.

I wouldn't normally be stressing this hard, but I dropped the ball on exams last year and ended up as a marginal candidate. As such, I have only 2 OCIs (On-Campus-Interviews) which are essentially a 17-minute "speed date" style pre-interview. If you do well on the OCI, they invite you in for a regular interview. Thus the anxiety about dress, since 17 minutes is a short enough time that the first impression (ie. dress/looks/attitude) will likely play a LARGE role in whether I get a second interview. And if I don't get a second interview, I don't get a job. That's a big opportunity for $$ lost out on, plus meaning I spend the rest of this/next year worrying about getting an articling position.


Thanks to everyone who has responded. My final decision is to play it safe and avoid the cufflinks for the interview. As people pointed out, it'd likely be neutral or negative, so better to play it safe considering I've already gone and purchased myself a somewhat pretentious suit that will be substantially more expensive than what the majority of my peers will be wearing. Second interview...well that's another thread :P
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