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Interview Attire

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by InPa, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Roy

    Roy Well-Known Member

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    Incredible. I never would have thought this is an actual issue.
     
  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    an interview islike sellling, or dating (which is selling, too). the clothes that you wear are part of the tools you have to show your perspective boss that you will be able to do the job, be low maintainance, and fit in.


    In the states, a white shirt usually will best answer this.
     
  3. FIHTies

    FIHTies Well-Known Member

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    Do you really think that, how you dressed influenced significantly the decision of those that hired you? I have interviewed about 30-40 people for various positions in my stores and I dont remember dress code being a major issue that would have superceded qualifications or even remotely influenced my feelings for the prospective employee. There was even a time when the candidate came in wearing a suit with the labels still on and after I innocently commented I noticed he had the pants rolled up too (poor fellow didnt have a suit and was gonna return it after the interview).

    What kind of job was this?

    JJF
     
  4. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with FIH here. Like I said, I have a hand in the hiring of potential employees at my company, and not once has the presence or non-presence of a white shirt made a difference. In fact, more times than not I go with the "hungrier" candidate. Someone who hasnt had the upbringing or opportunities that a more priveledged person may have had. Ive seen people come in for their interviews in second hand suits, suits with the tag still on because they clearly were going to return it after the interview. Are you honestly telling me you would be prejudiced toward them because they were sloppily dressed? If thats the case, I would hardly call you gentlemen. I actually lean toward those kind of candidates. They are going to great lengths to try to improve themselves, and I applaud them for that. It would be a tremendous shame to overlook someone who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, someone who overcame a poor childhood because they may not adhere to some outdated 1950's (and ridiculous) notion that a white shirt means respect. Are you saying I should hire the rich kid from Darien CT. because his dad told him to wear a white shirt to an interview over the poor kid from Queens who has no idea?
     
  5. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    the worst employee I ever hired wore a suit that I really hated, 3 piece brown very fine chalkstripe from a very course wool. I hired him anyway, and fired him about 2 months later, for a different reason. I may have done well to trust my instinct.

    (I have to tell this story, although unrelated - the man had studied to be a jazz musician, and then, when he couldn't make a living, gone into sales. I hired him to run sales in a couple of countries in western europe. on our first trip together, in heathrow airport, on the way home, while we are waiting for a flight he pulls out a small trumpet, leaves the case open by his feet and starts playing. I was a little astounded, and asked him what was up. he said that he needed to practice an hour or 2 a day, and had been practicing every night during our trip. since he was already playing, he kept the case around for "tips". I felt that the fact that he didn't realize this was innapropriate behavior was pretty much a death sentance. )
     
  6. leroy

    leroy Active Member

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    What you wear depends on the position you are going for and the number of years of experience required for the job. If that someone is going for a managerial post with at least 7 or more years of experience and will be interviewed by head of department or something, then the attire would definitely play a part. The interviewer would want to sense professionalism from this experienced interviewee base on the first impression at the least. Whatever happens during the interview is another thing all together. Leroy Mens Fashion Tips http://www.mens-fashion-tips.com
     
  7. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    I was hiring for a sales/marketing manager, a position that will be doing face to face meetings with clients on a daily basis. If the person couldn't put together an appropriate outfit for his INTERVIEW with the understanding that it's his only chance to make a first impression, how could he be trusted to dress appropriately when meeting with clients?
     
  8. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

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    I dont know, it still seems a bit harsh. When I first started in business, I wasnt the best dresser around. Didnt really know much about it. When I was hired, one of the older guys took me aside and told me everything I needed to know. The guy even took me shopping, and gave me alot of tips and pointers. Dressing appropriately is something that is learned, not something you are born with. Why would you give the job to someone who has already learned it instead of someone that might be just as qualified who you can teach about it in about 10 minutes? It really shouldnt take any longer than that. You hire him, you sit him down, and say "we require so and so clothes, end of story"
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    I ended up hiring a different person who ended up being extremely effective, so the point is moot. My general point is that you have one chance to make a first impression, so why not give yourself every advantage by dressing appropriately? It may or may not affect the decision to hire you, but why take the chance?
     
  10. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    espetialy for a position of managent or sales - if the job involves the effect you have on people, you want to see a candidate that knows the proper way to dress.

    it also implies that a person comes from the same cultural background with the ability to fit in, or at least can conform in a way that will fit in.
     
  11. FIHTies

    FIHTies Well-Known Member

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    Hey Phil...I hope you dont lose any sleep tonight having to agree with me there [​IMG] . There are some points that you mentioned that I dont agree with, for example I think that a person that buys a suit with the sole attention of returning it should be questioned as to the ethical decision in that. I once had a data entry interviewee tell me that he could get me into Monster.Com's DB easily which to me was less than impressive for a prospective employee. Drizzt: Of course the look one portrays is important, especially if he is dealing with customers and needs to make a favorable impression. I dont think that anyone doubts that., The issue is what job could be won by wearing a white (respectable) shirt at interview and then a Blue(respctable) shirt on interview 2. Unless the instruction from the boss was wear a blue shirt I cant imagine awarding someone a job based on their choice between two respectable looking shirts. JJF
     
  12. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    Those are cute stories, but I agree with drizz here. Clothes speak volumes about the wearer.

    The candidate has the tags still on, and rolled up his pants legs, obviously planning to return the suit to the store after using it (unethical behavior to begin with).
    Translation: he won't even make a thrift-shop level investment in the way people see him, and he plans to do only what it takes to get by. When he finds something better, or the job accomplishes his purposes, he will move on, leaving the company in a lurch. This is like the guys who get a job at Guitar Center only long enough to buy equipment at cost to outfit their bands and friends, and then quit. Leeches.

    The candidate comes dressed in a clean, but obviously 10-year old suit, that fits him okay but has no wrinkle to be found, an old, perfectly ironed shirt, a bad, well-tied tie, and a pair of crappy shoes, immaculately shined.
    Translation: this guy will make the best of what he's given. He obviously cares enough to be as respectful as possible given his station.

    If the job is in the mailroom, I guess it doesn't matter, but if the job will require meeting clients, the person should show enough initiative to learn what would be appropriate and make an effort toward that.
     
  13. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    BTW, once you get to the level of minutiae, like choosing one guy over the other based solely on a blue vs. white shirt, you have gone a bit far IMO.
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    FIH

    this is a very fine point - the white shirt blue shirt issue. it comes down to this. every american manager finds a white shirt to be acceptable. many, possilbly a very good percentage, find a blue shirt acceptable. from a statistical standpoint, the white is a better choice.

    I, myself, wear a dark blue shirt most days that I am in the office (not meeting customers). I might be very impressed (or a little creeped out) if somebody came into an interview wearing the same shade of blue as I wear. but that is a risk.

    but some people are real assholes, and some people have very strict ideas of what people should and shouldn't wear, better safe than sorry.
     
  15. esquire.

    esquire. Well-Known Member

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    Dz,

    Please explain in further detail about what was wrong with somebody wearing a double breasted suit or a paisley tie for an interview. I don't see what's wrong with the attire except that black is considered too trendy by some people.

    Let's say, we were to ignore that man's attire, and we evaluated him on everything else- his experience, education, recommendations. And, on those factors alone, you'd hire this man on those factors. But, because he wore a double breasted suit, are you going to automatically not going to hire this man?
     
  16. Brian SD

    Brian SD Well-Known Member

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    My last interview I went to, I wore a black long sleeve t-shirt (slim - Helmut Lang) and dark slim-fitting jeans, and black leather boots. Another prospective employee who I saw leaving as I was coming into my interview was wearing a navy sack suit, a white dress shirt (disgusting stitching) and a plain red tie. I got the job - mind you, this is in an office. A casual office, but an office none the less.
     
  17. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Well-Known Member

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    Esquire, I think you're missing the point.  The choice of clothing you pick for an interview can be interpreted as "nonverbal communication".  A blue 2B suit, white pinpoint shirt, and conservative tie conveys a completely different image of what you consider to be your "work" personality in an interview as opposed to, say, a DB black pinstripe, colored shirt, and red paisley tie.   One says "I can fit in".  The other says "My personality dominates everything".  

    In most middle to upper middle class jobs (in fact, I'll venture that 95 to 99% of these jobs - your standard corporate/financial jobs), success at work depends a lot less on factor 1 -> "experience, education, and recommendations" and a lot more on factor 2 -> "ability to work well with others".  Especially since in reality, factor 1 doesn't usually differ from candidates over a large range, but factor 2 can differ dramatically.  From a corporation's point of view, the ability to work with others is very, very important.
     
  18. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  19. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    Black isn't an appropriate color for a morning interview, and may not be an appropriate color for some industries at all. Double breasted suits may look excellent if the person has the body type to pull it off, in this case, he most certainly did not. His tie was a garish blue/red paisley that looked like the one Versace tie that you'd see at their outlet discounted to $5 after 8 markdowns because it was too butt ugly for anyone to pick it up before that. He was also wearing some Kenneth Cole rubber sole shoes that looked like he was ready for a night on the town with the American Jackass set.

    This wasn't his first interview with our company (although it was the first time he interviewed with me) and he should have an idea of what clothing would be appropriate for our industry considering that he had attended a mixer/info session and had had another interview with a sales/marketing director (who he would have been directly reporting to)

    He wouldn't have gotten a second interview if he didn't meet the qualifications necessary to do the job he was interviewing for. If he had shown up with proper attire, I think he may have had a chance to get the job, although I didn't generally get as good a vibe from him as I did from the other candidate, but I wonder how much of that was the clothes.

    I will say that the other candidate (who is a current employee) was tall, confident, and well spoken, while this candidate was short, rotund, and had a used car salesman vibe so, maybe he wouldn't have gotten the job anyways, in any case, his attire didn't help his cause.
     
  20. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    About the blue vs white shirt question, I wouldn't care if a candidate was wearing a blue or white shirt, but it is probably still safer to wear a white shirt. It happened that the candidate that got the job was wearing a charcoal suit with a light blue shirt and dark blue tie.
     

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