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Dressing for internship interviews

Unregistered

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As a student in his final year of cognitive psychology undergrad studies, I have several interviews lined up for a year of interning at a range of positions (from psychological lab/research roles, to program evaluations at large corporations / institutes, to psychometric testing at correctional facilities).

Now, given the nature of these jobs here in Edmonton, Alberta... I know almost for a fact that none of these interviews will be conducted by people wearing a suit. At most, I will see button down shirts and dress trousers.

As a SF'er... my instinct is to dress "properly" in a conservative suit with conservative shoes. But I would still almost definitely be "out dressing" the interviewer.

How would you fine gentlemen handle the situation?
 

ClambakeSkate

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Originally Posted by Jodum5
Wear a suit.

The interviewer may give you a hard time or joke around about you being overdressed, but at least they'll know you're serious and trying.

I wore a suit to my first internship interview and 5 years later the guy that interviewed me was still making fun of me for it, but he hired me right out of school and kept me employed for years.
 

jgold47

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Originally Posted by ClambakeSkate
The interviewer may give you a hard time or joke around about you being overdressed, but at least they'll know you're serious and trying.

I wore a suit to my first internship interview and 5 years later the guy that interviewed me was still making fun of me for it, but he hired me right out of school and kept me employed for years.


first - search, this has been covered a number of times, but its been awhile. Some people here will say 3 piece suite for a mcdonalds interview. However, I am bigger fan of matching your style to the place you will be working. I had an intern coordinator in HS who used to form it as make them see you as if you already work there. So, if they are BC, wear BC. If they wear jeans, wear BC. If they were suits, wear a suit. You get my drift. If they are jeans people and you show up in a 3 piece suit, they may get it in their head that you dont fit. This can be equally bad.

So moral of the story is do your homework, also include dresscode into it. If your not sure, call/email the day before the interview to confirm (good practice anyways), speak to a low level HR assistant, and ask 'oh one last thing, whats the office dresscode like?' She will likely find that endearing and be your new champion. It also plays to the female taking care of the male stereotype.

PS - best advice about interviewing I ever got, is write down 5-10 questions and ask them when the interview asks if you have any questions. So many interviews are 90% the interviewing rambling on about the job. Ask legit probing questions. What does it take to be sucessful here. Whats the rest of the team like. What are the long term prospects for this job/where do I go from here. What does the most sucessful member of the team do that makes them so sucessful. How long in your eyes does it generally take to get the hang of this job and be sucessful. Use positive and forward looking terms, use leading phrasing like, well if I worked here. Dont be arrogant and say 'when you hire me' but phrase things so that the interviewer thinks you already work there.


good luck
 

imschatz

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I interviewed with a Government environment ministry last summer. I wore a suit, and they were in cargo pants and golf shirts.

They exchanged jokes with themselves about being under dressed, but I got the job.
 

Mac

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Always over-dress. They'll appreciate the effort you put into dressing well, and therefore take your application much more seriously. You might also be remembered as the "guy wearing the suit"—which can never be a bad thing.
 

Pantisocrat

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This is good advice. And don't be afraid to use some suggestive psychology. If you've had several jobs in the past, keep repeating, "when I was hired as" "when I was hired to do" "after getting hired as" and "I was successful" "many successful sales" "success in my work"..etc.

Originally Posted by jgold47
first - search, this has been covered a number of times, but its been awhile. Some people here will say 3 piece suite for a mcdonalds interview. However, I am bigger fan of matching your style to the place you will be working. I had an intern coordinator in HS who used to form it as make them see you as if you already work there. So, if they are BC, wear BC. If they wear jeans, wear BC. If they were suits, wear a suit. You get my drift. If they are jeans people and you show up in a 3 piece suit, they may get it in their head that you dont fit. This can be equally bad.

So moral of the story is do your homework, also include dresscode into it. If your not sure, call/email the day before the interview to confirm (good practice anyways), speak to a low level HR assistant, and ask 'oh one last thing, whats the office dresscode like?' She will likely find that endearing and be your new champion. It also plays to the female taking care of the male stereotype.

PS - best advice about interviewing I ever got, is write down 5-10 questions and ask them when the interview asks if you have any questions. So many interviews are 90% the interviewing rambling on about the job. Ask legit probing questions. What does it take to be sucessful here. Whats the rest of the team like. What are the long term prospects for this job/where do I go from here. What does the most sucessful member of the team do that makes them so sucessful. How long in your eyes does it generally take to get the hang of this job and be sucessful. Use positive and forward looking terms, use leading phrasing like, well if I worked here. Dont be arrogant and say 'when you hire me' but phrase things so that the interviewer thinks you already work there.


good luck
 

Mr. Clean

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Originally Posted by Mac
Always over-dress. They'll appreciate the effort you put into dressing well, and therefore take your application much more seriously. You might also be remembered as the "guy wearing the suit""”which can never be a bad thing.

Originally Posted by imschatz
I interviewed with a Government environment ministry last summer. I wore a suit, and they were in cargo pants and golf shirts.
They exchanged jokes with themselves about being under dressed, but I got the job.


Ah, local customs.


Originally Posted by jgold47
However, I am bigger fan of matching your style to the place you will be working.

This. Also, keep in mind that being well dressed does not equal wearing a suit or vice versa. I have not worn a suit for interviews in years, but I still often outdress the interviewers.

Originally Posted by jgold47
PS - best advice about interviewing I ever got, is write down 5-10 questions and ask them when the interview asks if you have any questions. So many interviews are 90% the interviewing rambling on about the job. Ask legit probing questions. What does it take to be sucessful here. Whats the rest of the team like. What are the long term prospects for this job/where do I go from here. What does the most sucessful member of the team do that makes them so sucessful. How long in your eyes does it generally take to get the hang of this job and be sucessful. Use positive and forward looking terms, use leading phrasing like, well if I worked here. Dont be arrogant and say 'when you hire me' but phrase things so that the interviewer thinks you already work there.

That's good advice, too.
 

StephenHero

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I always wear a sportcoat. If I sense the office is casual, I'll wear tweed or herringbone jacket with a solid cashmere or wool tie and flannel pants. If it's a bit more formal, I'll just go to a navy wool sportcoat and solid silk twill tie.

I think a well-tailored, natural shoulder sportcoat is a better option because it shows you have some grasp of and skill with acceptable attire besides the suit, especially if the place you're interviewing at is casual. There's no incentive to out-dress the interviewee.
 

dragon8

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Originally Posted by Jodum5
Wear a suit.

+1 and don't stray from this.

Originally Posted by Mac
Always over-dress. They'll appreciate the effort you put into dressing well, and therefore take your application much more seriously. You might also be remembered as the "guy wearing the suit""”which can never be a bad thing.

Can never go wrong by wearing a suit to an interview.
 

deandbn

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1. Have a good haircut.
2. Groom your finger nails.
3. Shave your beard.
4. Polish your shoes.
5. Lose the jewellery.
6. Take a decent pen with you. (to fill in forms etc. without looking unprepared/disorganized)
7. Wear a Suit and Shirt that fit you properly.
8. Smile a lot
9. Look at the interviewer directly when speaking.

This should put you far ahead of 90% of other applicants.
 

Mac

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Originally Posted by deandbn
1. Have a good haircut.
2. Groom your finger nails.
3. Shave your beard.
4. Polish your shoes.
5. Lose the jewellery.
6. Take a decent pen with you. (to fill in forms etc. without looking unprepared/disorganized)
7. Wear a Suit and Shirt that fit you properly.
8. Smile a lot
9. Look at the interviewer directly when speaking.

This should put you far ahead of 90% of other applicants.


+1. And wear a watch"”my dad said the two things he would look for in an interviewee was that they polished their shoes and wore a watch.
 

ter1413

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a rule:
interview=suit
that is all!
 

pseudonym

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Originally Posted by ClambakeSkate
5 years later the guy that interviewed me was still making fun of me for it

Come on; we all know he was mad that you had a better suit than him.
 

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