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Interview attire

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Interview attire

Old 09-01-15, 09:39 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by Flashback View Post
So, what happened today? Did you find something?
Unfortunately not. I went to Goodwill, and the jackets they had were too small. The largest was a 46. (I need a 54.)

Then I went to the mall and went to JC Penney and Elder Beerman. Both of them had very little selection for jackets. I was kind of surprised at that. They had a lot of button down shirts, pants, ties, etc., but the number of jackets they had was surprisingly few (to me at least). Anyway, the largest size I could find at either of those stores was a 50.

Then I went to Wal-Mart. I could have sworn they used to have jackets there because I thought I bought my old jacket there like 10 years ago or so. However, they had absolutely nothing now. I walked through the men's clothes section three times and saw no jackets whatsoever. They had button down shirts, dress pants, etc. but no jackets.

Are jackets really that hard to find now or maybe it is just my area? I don't know.


Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
The OP doesn't want to grow up and is looking for affirmation.
It's not that I don't want to grow up. I will wear formal clothes if I absolutely need to wear them. It's a combination of me being dirt poor and also very overweight that makes clothes shopping difficult. Finding affordable clothes my size is difficult (especially formal clothes).
Old 09-01-15, 09:57 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Here's one site that sells Big and Tall sizes: http://rochester-big-and-tall.destin...ush&navCount=2

There's a Big and Tall Outlet in Indiana that sells sportcoats for under $60: http://www.bigandtalloutlet.com/blazers-sportscoats/
Old 09-01-15, 10:02 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Are jackets really that hard to find now or maybe it is just my area? I don't know.
There are also several options at Men's Wearhouse online: http://www.menswearhouse.com/big-and...ing/mens-suits

A few suits (which look perfectly acceptable) for under $200, which is a decent price. Some even under $100.
Old 09-01-15, 10:23 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Here's one site that sells Big and Tall sizes: http://rochester-big-and-tall.destin...ush&navCount=2

There's a Big and Tall Outlet in Indiana that sells sportcoats for under $60: http://www.bigandtalloutlet.com/blazers-sportscoats/
Thanks for those links. Unfortunately the store in Indiana is in northern Indiana bordering right on Michigan, and I am almost 200 miles south of that. My interview is tomorrow, so I won't be able to get a jacket in time from there.

At least I will have that option for whatever comes next if I don't get this job. I'm won't be that upset if I don't get the job. I have very little experience interviewing anyway, so I am going to be a nervous wreck and will probably do something stupid regardless of how I'm dressed. This is probably just going to be more of a learning exercise for me more than a real chance at actually getting hired. If I actually do get an offer, it probably means there either were no other applicants or they were REALLY REALLY bad and did something even stupider than I did.
Old 09-01-15, 10:54 PM
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Re: Interview attire

You all are seriously deluded if you think he's going to find a 4x jacket in a thrift store. It's too late now but I got mine at a local big and tall store for about 100 bucks. If you don't have any near you go the online route for future interviews, wedding, etc...
Old 09-01-15, 11:38 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Glad to see you taking advice from everyone, too often folks ask for advice and then ignore it.

Too bad you couldn't find one, you'll be prepared for next time.

I've gotten my last couple of positions with just a dress shirt / tie but I know I'd be better off with a suit. I haven't had one that fits in years, lost my old one in a move somewhere (it was handed down from my grandpa anyway). I really wanted to get one for the last interview but didn't have the money available. Then again I didn't stress at my last interview too much because I love my current job and didn't really care if I got the new job or not (of course I wanted it, just not stressed about staying at my old job, except for the long commute), so it made me super comfortable, probably helped me land the job more than what I was wearing.

Better to make a good impression. Especially when trying to get that elusive first professional job.
Old 09-01-15, 11:41 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I have very little experience interviewing anyway, so I am going to be a nervous wreck and will probably do something stupid regardless of how I'm dressed.
Off-topic, but I used to be this way a long time ago - being nervous for interviews. But then I had a realization that the worst thing that can happen is they don't give me the job - which wasn't that big a deal. I'd be in the same position anyway and really wasn't risking anything.

I also looked at it as a way for me to interview them and not just the other way around. I could turn them down just as easily. In my mind I stopped giving them all this power and since then I've never been nervous at an interview and have always done well in them. I didn't always get the job, but it wasn't because of me being nervous and saying/doing something stupid.
Old 09-02-15, 03:41 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by NORML54601 View Post
You all are seriously deluded if you think he's going to find a 4x jacket in a thrift store. It's too late now but I got mine at a local big and tall store for about 100 bucks. If you don't have any near you go the online route for future interviews, wedding, etc...
Thank you. I just read the thread for the first time, and I was thinking this. Not surprisingly, thrift shops have a wide selection of clothes for people in the middle of the bell curve, but not a lot for people at the tails.

OP: As for your not having any fashion sense, the world is full of men like you. That's why there are men's shops. You go in and say, "I think I need a suit," and they give you clothes that flatter your figure, suit your skin tone, and are appropriate for that situation you're wearing them for. And a proper suit has extra fabric so it can be let out or taken in if you gain or lose weight.

My recommendation is that even after you get the job you go buy a suit. After you get a little experience on your resume, you might want to find a better job.
Old 09-02-15, 04:06 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Thank you. I just read the thread for the first time, and I was thinking this. Not surprisingly, thrift shops have a wide selection of clothes for people in the middle of the bell curve, but not a lot for people at the tails.
Well, I did preface my thrift store suggestion by saying he might have a hard time finding something in his size. That said, in my experience, I often see size 50+ jackets in thrift stores. There aren't that many people who wear those sizes, so when one does show up on the racks, it tends to sit there for a while. There was a time when I would hit up the local thrift stores every weekend for a quick look and those big and tall sizes would just linger forever.
Old 09-02-15, 04:46 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Finance, insurance, legal: these are still suit industries.
Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
The latter, generally yes. The former two, nowhere near all of them. The majority were/are business casual.
Very region dependent. Legal is not a suit industry in Denver, except when meeting clients or going to court. The days where every attorney went to work in suit/tie are long gone here.

Of course, that's a separate question than interview attire. It could be casual Friday and I wouldn't dream of going to a legal interview in anything but a suit, unless they explicitly told me otherwise.
Old 09-02-15, 04:49 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Well the interview is over. I'm not really sure if it went good or bad since this is only my third "professional" interview. It was the best of the three that I have had at least, but that's not saying much considering my first two were really bad.

I went without a jacket since as like I said I couldn't find one my size in time. I will check out big and tall stores for one later.

I debated going without a tie, since some people here suggested not to wear a tie if not wearing a jacket. I went with a tie anyway because I figured I already screwed up without the jacket so I might as well go full on screwed up.

I was overdressed compared to all the employees I saw. Nobody had a jacket or tie either one. Heck, several of the men I saw working there had on short sleeved polo shirts. The man who interviewed me said they have "casual" Fridays, and I didn't say it but I definitely thought, "more casual than this?"

The interview lasted about 40-45 minutes, which I guess is probably about average. It didn't seem to last that long because I was engaged with the conversation. I think the interviewer was engaged too, but I'm not that good at reading people so I can't say 100% for sure. One question I asked him was, "What can I do beforehand to prepare for the first day of work." He said, "Don't be so nervous." So I think he could tell how nervous I was. As the interview progressed, I did become less nervous though. I thought the interview was actually kind of casual because the mood was light and we laughed at stupid things and such.

After the interview, he showed me around the office a bit. I took that as a good sign because I don't think they would do that for every interviewee if they weren't seriously considering hiring them. As he showed me out the door though, he said "good luck" in a way that I thought may mean I didn't get the job and good luck with finding another one. I'm not sure though.
Old 09-02-15, 05:20 PM
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Re: Interview attire

I'll weigh in with my story too then, since my interview ended just about two hours ago.

I was the only candidate in a suit. There was one woman, who was dressed well, but not a "suit" per se. Of course, womens' fashions are a bit more varied. One guy in a nice dress shirt but no tie, and I noticed (thanks to you guys, otherwise I'd never even think about it) that he had on a brown belt with black shoes. The last guy was in a golf shirt with khakis.

Since I was clearly the best dressed person, we'll learn a bit about interview attire if someone else is hired. That will be a good indicator that a better resume and/or more experience (if the other candidates do possess that) is more important than wearing a suit.

I think I have a pretty good shot though. I do personal interviews well, and got smiles and nods from most of my answers. Almost no silent patches (except for the first interviewer, who had no notes and was clearly just trying to think of things to ask), and I also had good follow up questions. They also indicated they might take more than one of us, so that immediately jumps my odds up from 25% to 50% even without taking merit and my extensive experience into account. One interviewer (there were four in total) also took note of my long stints at previous companies (6 years, 4 1/2 years, 7 1/2 years) as a positive.

I'll find out next week, how about you Kenny?
Old 09-02-15, 05:26 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
As he showed me out the door though, he said "good luck" in a way that I thought may mean I didn't get the job and good luck with finding another one. I'm not sure though.
He may have just been wishing you good luck on when he sits down to decide between all the candidates and also any input HR may give (as well as their background checks, etc).
Old 09-02-15, 05:28 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
I'll find out next week, how about you Kenny?
Presumably I will know next week. I asked what the next step would be, and he said they are interviewing the rest of this week and will let me know after that.

Do people still do hand-written thank you notes? I am working on a thank you note now, but I'm unsure whether to hand-write or type it. I don't know the interviewer's email address, so I am going to snail mail it tomorrow morning. Hopefully he gets it before they make a hiring decision.
Old 09-02-15, 06:06 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Do people still do hand-written thank you notes? I am working on a thank you note now, but I'm unsure whether to hand-write or type it. I don't know the interviewer's email address, so I am going to snail mail it tomorrow morning. Hopefully he gets it before they make a hiring decision.
Writing a note certainly won't hurt, but I've never hired anyone that sent a note. The note is nice and all, but doesn't make difference on the decision. Just my opinion though.
Old 09-03-15, 02:07 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
Writing a note certainly won't hurt, but I've never hired anyone that sent a note. The note is nice and all, but doesn't make difference on the decision. Just my opinion though.
Disagree; there are many people in charge of hiring for whom a thank you note is a very important piece. The reality is that you just do not know whether it matters to the person in charge.

So yes, send a thank you letter. I have never once done a hand-written note, I always do a professional thank you letter. if it seems worth it, the letter highlights my continued interest in the job, any skills or experience that I feel is particularly relevant, and addresses any perceived deficiencies from the interview. A hand-written thank you note may be better for more informal interviews, but I prefer to stay as professional as possible.
Old 09-03-15, 02:23 PM
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Re: Interview attire

I snail mailed the thank you letter this morning. I decided to type it because my handwriting isn't all that great.
Old 09-03-15, 05:05 PM
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Re: Interview attire

You made the right choice wearing the tie. Jacket (and tie) would have been better, but always dress up. Especially for a first interview.
Old 09-03-15, 09:17 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
Disagree; there are many people in charge of hiring for whom a thank you note is a very important piece. The reality is that you just do not know whether it matters to the person in charge.

So yes, send a thank you letter. I have never once done a hand-written note, I always do a professional thank you letter. if it seems worth it, the letter highlights my continued interest in the job, any skills or experience that I feel is particularly relevant, and addresses any perceived deficiencies from the interview. A hand-written thank you note may be better for more informal interviews, but I prefer to stay as professional as possible.
I wouldn't advise against writing a letter, but I just don't think it matters 99% of the time. I'd be interested to hear from somebody that has ever hired someone because they sent a letter. Somebody they wouldn't have hired otherwise.
Old 09-03-15, 10:30 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
I wouldn't advise against writing a letter, but I just don't think it matters 99% of the time. I'd be interested to hear from somebody that has ever hired someone because they sent a letter. Somebody they wouldn't have hired otherwise.
I don't think any employer is going to completely change their mind about hiring a candidate just because the candidate sent a thank you letter. It is possible though that the employer has two nearly equal candidates and is having a tough time deciding between the two. If one sends a letter and the other doesn't, then maybe that could tip the scales. Of course, the one who didn't send the letter could have been dressed more professionally too, so that could tip the scales back. Who knows...
Old 09-03-15, 11:11 PM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
I wouldn't advise against writing a letter, but I just don't think it matters 99% of the time. I'd be interested to hear from somebody that has ever hired someone because they sent a letter. Somebody they wouldn't have hired otherwise.
I sent a handwritten thank you note for the job I have now. It was an internal move and I somewhat knew the decision maker. Did it make the difference? No, I nailed the interview. Did it help keep me in the loop? Yes -- the interview panel said they would make a decision within the week, but the process drug out almost 8 weeks. By sending the note (it was a standard thank you card) the decision maker kept in touch with me with updates.

HR, who didn't even sit in on the interview, wanted to hire a candidate with a degree. The department wanted me while I was 4 months away from finishing mine. The department head was going to pull the job posting and repost it in a few months (HR was not happy at the possibility of going through the process again). It was a pretty messy battle from what I was told.

It does give you a chance to have some influence after the interview IF it showcases your communication skills and professionalism. However, most interviewers make up their mind in the first moments of the interview. (Wear the damn jacket!)
Old 09-04-15, 11:06 AM
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Re: Interview attire

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
I wouldn't advise against writing a letter, but I just don't think it matters 99% of the time. I'd be interested to hear from somebody that has ever hired someone because they sent a letter. Somebody they wouldn't have hired otherwise.
It probably doesn't matter most of the time, just like wearing a suit doesn't matter most of the time. Especially as most people come dressed appropriately, and most people send thank yous. It mostly is just a cross your "t"s and dot your "i"s kind of thing, because you don't want to be the one person who doesn't. But even if we take your 99% figure to be accurate, getting jobs is pretty damned important. I'll write a thank you note to every interviewer I see if it means that 1 time out of 100, it helps get me the job.

And FTR, I got hired because of something along these lines. I was initially rejected (after interview and thank you letters), then the person they hired bailed. They re-listed the job rather than offer it to me; they really didn't like me, I guess. I applied again, insisting in my cover letter that I was the right person for the job, and was interviewed again. Sent more thank yous, again highlighting that I was the person for the job, even though they had passed me over once. And I got hired. The boss told me that it was my continued persistence and overall professionalism that made the difference. So not specifically thank you letters -- I doubt it is ever just thank you letters -- but they were part of the overall package.
Old 09-04-15, 11:45 AM
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Re: Interview attire

I've interviewed hundreds of people for various professional positions. A thank you has never had an impact. Frankly, I don't even read them. And those sent snail mail invariably arrive after the decision has been made.

On the other hand, I think it is an absolute necessity to wear a suit. What current employees are wearing is irrelevant; if you want the job, wear a suit. Just like I have little tolerance for mistakes in a resume, I expect the interview to show you at your best. That should include dressing how you would present yourself for a very important meeting, because it is.

If your best is ill-fitting clothing with a resume with typos, that's what I can expect when I need you to present something to my boss or customers. No thanks.
Old 09-04-15, 01:13 PM
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Re: Interview attire

^ question, does it count if the person seems very likeable or experience beats everything
Old 09-04-15, 01:47 PM
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Re: Interview attire

I've interviewed quite a few folks, and the majority of them wore suit and tie. All the subsequent hires did, anyway.

I've worn suit and tie to all interviews but two since I got out of the Army. One was to manage a bike shop (so I skipped the jacket) and the other was a phone interview (boxers and a wife-beater FTW). I have always received a job offer.

Good luck!

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