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The Coffee Shop Interview: What's Appropriate?

ektaylor

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This next week, I have three 'informational' interviews at coffee shops. These are with professionals in a downtown environment (albeit on the west coast) and are not for an entry-level position. My question is whether or not I should wear a suit. The dress code in this field (and, particularly, city) can be a bit relaxed, nevertheless I usually error on the side of caution.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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If in IT or something similar I'd consider a sportcoat and slacks.
 

blahman

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When in doubt: wear the suit.

I got my current job from coffee shop interview. Fully suited I was, but then the fella turned up in a tracksuit read to go play some soccer after wards. Felt funny that I turned up in a suit in middle of summer and being interviewed by a guy in a tracksuit but it did my interview no harm. It was a Sunday afternoon though.
 

Metlin

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How about business casual and a blazer or a sport coat? If you feel overdressed, you can take off the jacket.

In my book, a navy blazer is right below the formality of a suit. Whether or not you want to wear a tie is entirely up to you.

EDIT: Never mind, just noticed SG's response above. Oops.
 

Master-Classter

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I'd go suit with a nice shirt and tieless. It looks like you're comfortable wearing a suit all day but know how to take off your tie too, ie one of the 'regulars' in the corporate world.
 

bringusingoodale

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I second the suit with no tie, just because it's the easiest thing to do and probably safest. But admittedly, after having spent many a lunch hour browsing WAYWRN, when the sport jacket+tie+trousers look is pulled off right, it really conveys a sense of self-worth and nattiness that may be interpreted as a sign of "having it together."

I always wonder though myself about what kind of suit and shirt to wear for the no tie unbuttoned shirt look. I figure is shouldn't be a navy pinstripe. Medium gray probably is best to play around with, but a nice petrol blue might be best for that casual suit look. But it's up to you, and you should probably do more homework on the persons who are interviewing you and the on the interview itself.
 

ektaylor

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I'm going to be bold and wear a tieless black-and-white checkered shirt with a light pinstriped navy blue suit. Topped off with a pair of santoni brogues. Cufflinks, no. Two inch cuffs, yes.
 

michael_legeek

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If the coffee shop is downtown, I suggest dressing like you belong with the professionals downtown, in a suit. Maybe soften the look a little with a button-down collar, and if you get there and really feel overdressed, you can undo the top button if you really must casual it up somehow.
 

Kentishman

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Mark Seitelman

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Originally Posted by ektaylor
This next week, I have three 'informational' interviews at coffee shops. * * *


Wear a clean apron and offer a free refill.

Seriously, you have to make the call. It is probably better to wear a little more relaxed type of suit (e.g., mid grey or glen plaid) than a more formal suit (solid navy, pinstripe, etc.).

I just find it a little strange that you're interviewing in a coffee shop. Don't they have offices? Will you have to wait for a free table from one of the slackers sitting around all day with an i-Pad?
 

Master Squirrel

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Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman
Wear a clean apron and offer a free refill.

Seriously, you have to make the call. It is probably better to wear a little more relaxed type of suit (e.g., mid grey or glen plaid) than a more formal suit (solid navy, pinstripe, etc.).

I just find it a little strange that you're interviewing in a coffee shop. Don't they have offices? Will you have to wait for a free table from one of the slackers sitting around all day with an i-Pad?


I've done it and still do it. Just to get out of the office and keep people from commenting on the interviewees and wondering if their job is on the rocks: "Did you see those AE seconds? ... I don't know his qualifications but you must hire him!"
 

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