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What to wear to a casual interview?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bsblguy31, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. bsblguy31

    bsblguy31 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    I have an interview this week with a newspaper. iThe interviewer told me I don't have to dress up or anything unless "I'm a guy that likes to dress up." I get the impression that it's pretty casual around the office, but I'm not really sure what would be the right attire for the interview. I want to impress them and look nice, but I don't want to come across the wrong way if I look too dressy. Any ideas for what I should wear? Thanks.
     
  2. VMan

    VMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,103
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Cotton pants in tan, gray, or navy and a white or light blue button-down shirt, maybe with a simple pattern. Leather blutchers that compliment the pants.
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 11, 2007
    What a BS situation to find yourself in. As a matter of fact, all interviewees for positions at big law firms wear suits to their interviews--even though they know their interviewers will probably be in business casual dress. A partner at my firm confided in me that he's slightly annoyed whenever a law student he's interviewing shows up in a suit since the firm's business casual. We'd all be better off if we were simply told to wear suits, or not to wear suits.

    Sorry for the rant. I guess I'd wear a sportcoat if I were you.
     
  4. Liberty Ship

    Liberty Ship Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    138
    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Wear a suit. If the issue comes up, just say that you are SO sorry, but it was called for for the interview you just came from, or have to go to afterwards.

    Or tell the guy, "I just thought you might like to see how I would look if you asked me to do something important. Jeez!

    There is no such thing as a "casual" interview -- it's your life! I am SICK of The Great Dumb Down.
     
  5. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
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    Feb 25, 2008
    I would always go a little dressed up since you can always dress down later, but it is hard to dress up later. Wear a good dress shirt with good pants, a tie and a sport coat. If you feel that you are too dressed up, you can always lose the jacket or the tie (or both) and still look good. During a recent interview, I was told that while I could dress up, business casuals is the norm -- and that I was free to dress as I wanted. Turned out that just about every interview candidate came in a suit, and I was glad that I was dressed in a suit. During the course of the interview, I removed the jacket (and later that evening, the tie). But the point is, during the interview, I met some partners who had jackets on, and I even got complimented on my tie (a Hart Schaffner Marx favorite). And I would certainly have felt uncomfortable around several candidates who were (quite obviously) dressed up. And dressed up almost always creates a good impression (there are always rare exceptions, of course). At the end of the day, it also depends on your industry -- my industry is usually quite conservative (and well dressed), so that could be part of the reason. YMMV. (Yes, I landed the job -- it's the one where I'm at.)
     
  6. bsblguy31

    bsblguy31 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT
    Thanks everyone who responded. See the newspaper industry is a pretty casual one when it comes to dress around the newsroom or out reporting. Depending on the size, area and prestige of the newspaper, the type of attire can range from jeans to business casual. You usually won't find anyone in a suit.

    I also should probably mention that I'm only 23 and this for an entry-level reporter position at a community paper. That's another reason I'm leaning away from wearing the suit. I really don't want to give the impression that I'm some young hotshot who comes in way overdressed at this small paper. The interview is tomorrow and right now I'm thinking I'll wear a light-blue dress shirt with navy dress pants, but I'm torn on what shoes to wear. Should I stick with the conservative black oxford lace-up or would it be OK to wear my AE Taunton ankle boot in dark brown that I recently picked up? The weather where I live has been awful lately and there's snow on the ground so only the more reason I'd like to wear a dress boot rather than an oxford. Thanks again everyone.
     
  7. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 10, 2006
    I have an interview this week with a newspaper. iThe interviewer told me I don't have to dress up or anything unless "I'm a tool."
    This is pretty much how I interpret his obnoxiously vague, passive aggressive comment.
    What a BS situation to find yourself in. We'd all be better off if we were simply told to wear suits, or not to wear suits.

    +1
    I'm thinking I'll wear a light-blue dress shirt with navy dress pants, but I'm torn on what shoes to wear. Should I stick with the conservative black oxford lace-up or would it be OK to wear my AE Taunton ankle boot in dark brown that I recently picked up?

    I think either is probably fine.
     

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