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Pre-Interview Dinner Dilemma - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Business casual is a very vague term. Sometimes an OCBD and khakis are fine, and sometimes it just means no suit, but still requires an odd jacket and tie. If you can get a navy sport coat, I think that is the ideal solution
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by msulinski View Post

Business casual is a very vague term. Sometimes an OCBD and khakis are fine, and sometimes it just means no suit, but still requires an odd jacket and tie. If you can get a navy sport coat, I think that is the ideal solution

I could be wrong but just for OP $0.02

In Hong Kong and UK, 'business causal' means no tie but dress trouser and jacket, that often turns to suit but no tie look. The typical navy or gunclub blazer will fit nicely in here.

In USA and Canada, my friends have told me that when the firm was originated there, business causal means chino look, OCBD and loafers will pass here.

From my experience, business causal usually means a jacket, no tie, no chino, no loafers, even if you appear to be overdressed taking off jacket will help.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zizou View Post

go with the suit and tie. as mentioned above, ditch the tie if the other interviewees and interviewers aren't. skip the square. good luck.

+1
post #19 of 34

In my experience, there's no such thing as a "pre-interview dinner".  It's basically a mind game designed to catch you off guard by naming it something innocuous.  Treat it as though it's part of the interview process (because it is).  Wear the suit and tie, look sharp.  Better overdressed than underdressed.

 

Please keep in mind that interviews are very much a subjective experience (they're not always transparent, and hires aren't always merit-based).  That is to say, the decision to hire a candidate is very much at the whims of the psychological milieu of the interviewer(s).  Always be on your best behavior.  Questions/comments/conversations that appear to be innocent on the surface may actually end up being a deciding factor in whether or not you'll get the job in question.

 

As my old boss used to say, "Play the game."

post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

There is no question or dilemma here, the invitation says business casual and wearing a suit, a tie all demonstrates that you cannot read, cannot take instruction, cannot understand the simplest of instruction and follow. You have failed, thank you for coming.

 

I would have agreed with you 100%, but what happens if all these other people (who have ignored the instructions) rock up in suits? I don't think OP will appear to be the good guy in this scenario, even though he's technically done what he was asked to do.

 

You can always leave the option of losing tie/minimal pocket square/jacket before you get near the door, if things seem more casual, as others have said. I would really suggest trying to get some details though, as if there's only a few goons (rather than the majority) who show up in suits, you probably don't want to be one of them.

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post


I could be wrong but just for OP $0.02
In Hong Kong and UK, 'business causal' means no tie but dress trouser and jacket, that often turns to suit but no tie look. The typical navy or gunclub blazer will fit nicely in here.
In USA and Canada, my friends have told me that when the firm was originated there, business causal means chino look, OCBD and loafers will pass here.
From my experience, business causal usually means a jacket, no tie, no chino, no loafers, even if you appear to be overdressed taking off jacket will help.

No one in the US really knows what the term means. Once you start working at a job, you can figure out what that particular company's version of business casual means.

 

Since the OP has to make a decision now as to what to wear, I recommend a navy jacket with khakis. He would still within the spirit of business casual (don't think he will be rejected outright for not following directions), but he will not look ridiculously underdressed when everyone else turns up in suits.

post #22 of 34
For your benefit I've consulted with someone who works at a a major acounting firm, and for a situation such as this, it's recommended that you wear a tie.

I think anything associated with an interview should lead you to being more conversative than not. As she put it, "you don't want to be the schmuck without the tie"...
post #23 of 34
I can never link dress chino (e.g. typical BB clark trouser) to business causal, those trousers are for students clubbing night outs.
This is probably my niche problem.

In fact, interviewer always likes what I wear, I never missed any employment opportunity.
post #24 of 34

Step 1. Create a couple of different outfits representing increasing levels of formality

Step 2. Arrive really early with outfits from Step 1 and wait inconspicuously in your car (or aloof if no car) - Bonus points for having a pretend phone conversation to make yourself look busy/important if people see you

Step 3. Observe what people are wearing as they arrive

Step 4. Choose outfit based on Step 3

Step 5. Profit

 

 

Duh

post #25 of 34
Geez... nobody has given the right answer, or asked the appropriate questions.

What is the venue? Is it a 5-star restaurant? Is it the basement of the senior partner's house?

Unlike many here, I've hired and fired several people. For everything from minimum wage to $200K positions. Here's some extremely valuable information: You get hired if:

- You can do the job
- You fit in with the group

If it is a burgers and fries... or chicken wings type of event that the guys from the firm are using as an excuse to have some fun and charge the company's expense account... then showing up in a tie fails. If all the other dorks are in ties and you are the cool/appropriate one to hang out with, then you get the job.

If it's a highly upscale venue... then you dress for that place, no matter what the invite says.

And btw - I don't give a damn what the other candidates are doing. I'm the one they should hire... and if they don't see that because I have (or don't have) a tie on, then f-'em. Your ability to do the job is waaaaaaaaaay more important than what you wear.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dork View Post

Step 1. Create a couple of different outfits representing increasing levels of formality

Step 2. Arrive really early with outfits from Step 1 and wait inconspicuously in your car (or aloof if no car) - Bonus points for having a pretend phone conversation to make yourself look busy/important if people see you

Step 3. Observe what people are wearing as they arrive

Step 4. Choose outfit based on Step 3

Step 5. Profit

 

 

Duh

 

This is way too complicated and should not be the focus.  Spend more time prepping for the dinner/interview than sitting in your car with binoculars

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fredfred View Post

Geez... nobody has given the right answer, or asked the appropriate questions.
What is the venue? Is it a 5-star restaurant? Is it the basement of the senior partner's house?
Unlike many here, I've hired and fired several people. For everything from minimum wage to $200K positions. Here's some extremely valuable information: You get hired if:
- You can do the job
- You fit in with the group
If it is a burgers and fries... or chicken wings type of event that the guys from the firm are using as an excuse to have some fun and charge the company's expense account... then showing up in a tie fails. If all the other dorks are in ties and you are the cool/appropriate one to hang out with, then you get the job.
If it's a highly upscale venue... then you dress for that place, no matter what the invite says.
And btw - I don't give a damn what the other candidates are doing. I'm the one they should hire... and if they don't see that because I have (or don't have) a tie on, then f-'em. Your ability to do the job is waaaaaaaaaay more important than what you wear.


Good advice.  I also suggest you go suit and tie.  For an accounting firm, I'd assume it's at a pretty upscale restaurant, but on the off chance that you're brought to a burgers and fries joint...just easily take the tie off.  It'll show you know how to adjust to the environment.  Good luck!

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliebrown2 View Post


This is way too complicated and should not be the focus.  Spend more time prepping for the dinner/interview than sitting in your car with binoculars

 

 

Either your sarcasm detector is off or mine is, I can't tell confused.gif. Stupid internet.... 

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmills View Post

I would have agreed with you 100%, but what happens if all these other people (who have ignored the instructions) rock up in suits? I don't think OP will appear to be the good guy in this scenario, even though he's technically done what he was asked to do.

You can always leave the option of losing tie/minimal pocket square/jacket before you get near the door, if things seem more casual, as others have said. I would really suggest trying to get some details though, as if there's only a few goons (rather than the majority) who show up in suits, you probably don't want to be one of them.

Why ever not, one right remainder wrong? The OP can even make something of it by discussing the issue with the host to reinforce his position.
post #29 of 34
As someone who has hosted these types of dinners with candidates more times than I can count, I can say definitively that I don't remember a single thing about what anyone was wearing and that it had absolutely no bearing on the hiring decision. A suit (with tie) is always fine at any firm other than possibly a few creative or tech companies. But if the invitation says business casual then business casual is also fine. If it were me I would wear a suit, but only because I think that I would feel more professional and confident in a suit and perhaps project myself accordingly. If wearing a suit made me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, or if I had an ill-fitting suit and bad ties but great casual clothes, I would wear business casual.

There's nothing to game here other than your own feelings. So wear whatever makes you feel best about yourself and you will be fine.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by msulinski View Post

Business casual is a very vague term. Sometimes an OCBD and khakis are fine, and sometimes it just means no suit, but still requires an odd jacket and tie. If you can get a navy sport coat, I think that is the ideal solution

I don't think any definition of business casual I've ever seen requires a tie, though some allow you to include one without too much awkwardness. Chinos/wool trousers depending on the company, and a tieless shirt. Sweater or sportcoat in winter, and in some places, polo in summer. Loafers being perfectly normal footwear with such attire.

If I were asked to wear business casual without knowing what it meant at a firm, I would probably go with chinos, navy blazer, checked shirt, and no tie, or something along those lines. With a tie it would fit as a more casual option within "professional attire".
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