Pre-Interview Dinner Dilemma

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ajmanouk, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    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
     


  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    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.
     


  3. sidkane

    sidkane Active Member

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    +1
     


  4. sridhar3

    sridhar3 Senior member

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    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."
     


  5. jmills

    jmills Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


  6. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    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.
     


  7. ymmt

    ymmt Well-Known Member

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    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"...
     


  8. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


  9. The Dork

    The Dork Member

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    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
     


  10. fredfred

    fredfred Senior member

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    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.
     


  11. charliebrown2

    charliebrown2 Senior member

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    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:
    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!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


  12. The Dork

    The Dork Member

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    Either your sarcasm detector is off or mine is, I can't tell [​IMG]. Stupid internet....
     


  13. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    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.
     


  14. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


  15. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    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".
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


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