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SMC|Student Services|Career Services Center |Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week:Dress down for this interview

What does one wear to an interview in a casual workplace?

After a dining tutorial at a university in Florida, a student told me this interview story:

A big tech company (name withheld) flew this student to California for an interview. He wore his interview suit and tie.

The first interviewer at this company said, "Before you speak to me, you need to take off your tie." He did. The next person said, "Take off your jacket." He did.

The third person he was to interview with refused to see him until he came back in a pair of jeans. He didn't bring any jeans. So he went shopping, purchased a pair of jeans and came back. (Easy enough for a man. If that were me, I'd say, "See you in two days...if I'm feeling lucky.")

A few lessons:
If interviewing with a large tech company in California, ask about the dress code for interview candidates. Even companies that boast no code, have a code. Do an Internet search for images of the company's leaders to see how they dress day-to-day and for special events.

For everything else, err on the side of formality. It's easier to take things off if over-dressed, than to put things on if under-dressed.

Back to our college candidate. This would be a really sad story if he bought the jeans and didn't get the job, right?

They offered him the job. He turned it down. A future boss who would make a poor college student buy a pair of jeans just to speak to him was a bad omen.

Last lesson: you are interviewing the interviewers as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure it’s a good fit.
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