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Interview Attire - Page 4

post #46 of 67
My fault. This medium is hardly the most effective way to communicate sarcasm and my wit can only be fully appreciated in the flesh. That was a joke
post #47 of 67
phil, I don't think that anyone is usggesting not to hire somebody because of the color of his shirt, what I am sugesting (can't speak for anybody else) is that some people will have a consious or unconsious reaction to how people are dressed to an interview, and will react better to specific stimuli - such as a white shirt.
post #48 of 67
drzzt, although I understand the instict to hire people that look atractive, what you are looking for, in a sales position, is somebody who can close deals, not somebody you can take home to mother. its hard enough identifying a sales star, if you are not from the sales world, I know. but it is a common mistake to assume that sales people need to be pretty, at least at the high end of B2B sales they usually are more of the "fat guy with a cigar" type. I fit into the short and rotund category, myself. in my last company, a fortune 1000/NASDAQ 100 software company, I was among the top 5 producers every month for almost 4 years. the other person who was my main internal competition for top sales producer was, if anything, shorter and more rotund than I.
post #49 of 67
Quote:
The guy who showed up with the tags still on his suit with the intention of returning it got the job at our company.  Thinking that he lacks a certain moral character because he was going to return the suit isnt fair.  You cant look at these things in a vacuum.  Sure, if you do this on a regular basis, or for fun, then yes, that is a problem.  You have to understand the circumstances - this guy was dirt poor.  Not poor like he couldnt afford a great suit, like so poor he had no suit, nor the money to buy one.  He came to this country from Cuba, and really wanted a chance.  His english was decent, and he was working on it.  He wanted this job so bad that he was willing to buy a suit that he couldnt afford, wear it, and then return it for the chance to get the job.  He got the job, and I still work with him.  Hes been nothing but a professional, and a gentleman.  We joke now about that suit, especially since he makes more money than me now and buys whatever suits he likes.  According to some of you, he should have never gotten the job because he didnt show up in a white shirt.  The point of my rant here is that I am very glad my employer wasnt that shallow when I was interviewed(since I got the job not wearing a suit at all, since I didnt own one), and I am glad I am not that shallow either, since I pushed hard for this guy to be given the job.
For my "big interview" with a pharmaceutical company, I had nothing, my girlfriend at the time bought me a pair of nice slacks, a white shirt, tie, and a green sportcoat all on discount.  It got me the job.  There is no shame in poverty.  There is a hill you have to get over.  That is a very diffcult hill, if any of us remembers, so absolute compassion is demanded, I think, for people in that situation.
post #50 of 67
Globetrotter - I understand what you are saying, I just dont agree with it. If there is honestly anyone who has either a conscious or subconsious reaction to someone wearing a white shirt at an interview I would be willing to bet its miniscule. Its such an antiquated notion that I am surprised anyone even mentions it. To me, this kind of discussion falls into the same catagory as people who disdain: 1. people who wear brown shoes after six 2. people who wear brown shoes in "the city" 3. people who think suspenders cant be seen by the fairer sex 4. people who think its a mortal sin to wear a tuxedo instead of a morning coat in the daytime. These were relevant in 1930-1950. After that anyone who holds on to them is just being pretentious and downright silly. Same goes for having a reaction to someone wearing something other than a white shirt at an interview. And in the big scheme of things, as I have repeatedly said, you can teach someone to dress the part in about 2 seconds, its not brain surgery. Perhaps since I was born in queens, and worked in NYC my whole adult life I have just become adjusted to the "melting pot mentality, but I just have a really difficult time relating to anyone that would hold anything, subconsiously, or consciously, against someone because of the way they were dressed.
post #51 of 67
Quote:
Globetrotter - I understand what you are saying, I just dont agree with it. If there is honestly anyone who has either a conscious or subconsious reaction to someone wearing a white shirt at an interview I would be willing to bet its miniscule. Its such an antiquated notion that I am surprised anyone even mentions it. To me, this kind of discussion falls into the same catagory as people who disdain: 1. people who wear brown shoes after six 2. people who wear brown shoes in "the city" 3. people who think suspenders cant be seen by the fairer sex 4. people who think its a mortal sin to wear a tuxedo instead of a morning coat in the daytime.
I totally agree with you that those "old rules" are OBSOLETE, and some of them may even sound ridiculous by today's standards. However, you did mention that there may be a MINISCULE conscious or subconscious reaction on SOME people (maybe a small percentage). As miniscule as it may be, I believe you want to avoid distractions on the interview process. You want ALL of the interviewers to concentrate on your skills and NEVER on your cologne, color of shirt, jewelry, etc. When I was doing interviews for engineering possitions (8 years ago), I made a few "mistakes" on my attire. A few interviewers mentioned them, as a way of giving me an advice. (And remember that in engineering, dress code is a lot more flexible than on the business branches of a companny.) I do not think it had a terrible impact on my ability to get jobs, but it did distracted them from the interview process.
post #52 of 67
phil, last year i interviewed at a job that I would have been perfect for. the basic idea was to help a company that was a market leader in the US, and had bought several international subsidiaries that were not integrating well, develop and impliment an international strategy. The company, although pretty big and a leader in their field, sit in the far reaches of the outback in the middle of the US. everybody in the small town they are set up in look similar, tall and blond and protestant. what the CEO wanted was somebody who could get them to think globally. I spent almost a week in the interview process, and everybody I talked to was very impressed by my experience and skill set. I put an effort into dressing very "small town american" - white shirt, gray single breasted suit, simple watch, simple tie, black oxford shoes. although my wife and I decided that we didn't want to move there, the company decided not to offer me the job, and offered it to an internal candidate. the message that I recieved, informally, was that they thought I was a little too "exotic" to fit in the company. and they might have been right. what I am trying to say is that you encounter this type of subconscious cultural attitude often, much more often than you think. and, you know, I was at a wedding a few weeks ago that started at 3 pm, and I didn't wear my tux, and I don't wear brown shoes, either.
post #53 of 67
It seems to me that people are arguing a number of different things. Some of us seem to be arguing what they feel the rules should be. Some, what the rules in actuality are. Would it make a difference to me if someone showed up for an interview in a blue shirt? No, I don't it would. But would I advise someone to do that? No. Do I think the blue shirt matters? 95% of the time, probably not. But, all other things equal (fit, style, etc), the white shirt is a lot safer.
post #54 of 67
Globetrotter- If you were perceived as too "exotic" thats a racist policy and you shouldnt have stood for it.
post #55 of 67
And to be honest, if there are people out there who just prospective candidates on anything other than relevant information, I want no part of it. Furthermore, i am not going to cave into it, by either wearing a white shirt, disguising an ethnic heritage or anything else. People should be judged by their merits, simple as that. Globetrotter- I wouldnt wear a tux at that time of day either, but my point is that I wouldnt give a second thought to someone who did.
post #56 of 67
globetrotter, I agree with much of what you said, much of what makes a good salesperson are intangible qualities, and my search wasn't certainly for "who's the best candidate that could also be a model." or anything of that sort. I do buy the corporate culture argument, as we very carefully screen individuals to see if they will fit in our somewhat ecletic corporate culture. However, I do see attire, or choice thereof, as an important point, simply because of the fact that at the levels we were hiring, the person wasn't going to not be able to afford a suit, and most likely had a good amount of flexibility in what they were going to wear. I am also a big supporter of interview research, and if they didn't get a good idea of how our company portrays itself to the outside world through the informational session, prior interviews, and some research, than that's not a point in their favor.
post #57 of 67
Phil, I have been in a situation where i was working for a company in which I wasn't a particularly good fit ethnically with their main employee base, while there wasn't any discrimination, there also wasn't a very good sense of comfort. This type of situation works both ways, and while it behooves companies to become more diverse and bring in candidates that aren't as similar with their primary base of employees, being the "Jackie Robinson" as it were, isn't particularly comfortable, and there are a plethora of issues as to why this might be. IMO a candidate should be just as interested whether he is a good fit for the company as their should be in him.
post #58 of 67
Quote:
Phil, I have been in a situation where i was working for a company in which I wasn't a particularly good fit ethnically with their main employee base, while there wasn't any discrimination, there also wasn't a very good sense of comfort.  This type of situation works both ways, and while it behooves companies to become more diverse and bring in candidates that aren't as similar with their primary base of employees, being the "Jackie Robinson" as it were, isn't particularly comfortable, and there are a plethora of issues as to why this might be.  IMO a candidate should be just as interested whether he is a good fit for the company as their should be in him.
which was exactly why my wife and I came to the same conclusion that the company did - that I probrably would not fit smoothly into the company culture, and that a small town michigan boy might have.
post #59 of 67
globetrotter, I am a bit surprised that they cared as much about corporate culture for an international person, would you have been travelling constantly or based in their home office?
post #60 of 67
Actually, to be accurate, I didn't care so much about the corporate culture. We found that there were, for want of a better phrase (so please nobody take offense) almost no people of color and very few non protestants in town. Although I am not religious and could see raising my family in a town without a synagogue, I didn't want to raise my son in a situation where he had no friends who were not white, american, born christians. Everybody who I was introduced to in the town said (and I am not shitting you) "oh, nice to meet you. you know, there is a very nice jewish family in town (as in one single jewish family)". In my sons present nursury class, he has friends from haiti, ethiopia, israel, mexico, macedonia, one whose father is german and mother chinese, indian, sri lankan, a boy with 2 moms, among others. and we have good ethnic food within an easy drive from our house.
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