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Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:29 AM
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For me clothing is tool to be used at work just like any other. If I know I am going to be in a meeting with my most immediate peers, then it doesn't so much matter how I dress. They are well aware that I am a professional at all times and my clothing will not affect that. If it is a meeting with people outside that group, I will minimally dress in business casual. If I know upper management is in meeting, it will be more formal.

If anyone thinks that opinions of you and your work are not decided by how you dress, you are very much mistaken. I work with many millennials and they don't seem to pick up on this. I am an older Gen x and I can tell you that if you show up for an interview or a meeting the first time I meet you and you look like you slept in your car, I am going to form an opinion that your work will also be sloppy.

You can pretty much forget about being listened to at all by baby-boomer management types who left their sloppy hippy days a long time ago and didn't look back.

You need to dress and speak in a way that is appropriate to the audience in which you find yourself.
Post #1508693
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 4:37 PM
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Keith Hays (10/27/2013)
...and I can tell you that if you show up for an interview or a meeting the first time I meet you and you look like you slept in your car, I am going to form an opinion that your work will also be sloppy...



This is an admission that you would discard good hires in favour of better dressed but less capable
Post #1508714
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 5:11 PM


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mtucker-732014 (10/27/2013)
Keith Hays (10/27/2013)
...and I can tell you that if you show up for an interview or a meeting the first time I meet you and you look like you slept in your car, I am going to form an opinion that your work will also be sloppy...



This is an admission that you would discard good hires in favour of better dressed but less capable


No actually Keith is saying that he will form a negative opinion of the person based on their appearance before they have a chance to prove themselves. He is not saying the candidate would be discarded. A negative opinion could be overcome through the candidates other actions.

Anyone who chooses to dress sloppily for an interview or first meeting with someone is just making it harder for themselves. People will form an impression that the person is sloppy or lazy and that they couldn't care to at least dress in unwrinkled clothes. I don't think he is not saying that he would discard them, he is saying that those hires will have to work a little harder to earn a positive reputation because they started off on the wrong foot. Their resume may still save them and allow for a technical interview where they shine. He is just saying that you might as well start off by putting your best foot forward instead of digging yourself out of a self-inflicted hole. Correct me if I am wrong here Keith.

This thread has equated to some enjoyable reading and seems to come down to using your best judgment to dress appropriately for each situation.
Post #1508715
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 5:15 PM
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You have it exactly correct KWymore. It is much harder to correct a visual first impression than to make a good one in the first place.
Post #1508717
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 5:38 PM
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mtucker-732014 (10/27/2013)
Keith Hays (10/27/2013)
...and I can tell you that if you show up for an interview or a meeting the first time I meet you and you look like you slept in your car, I am going to form an opinion that your work will also be sloppy...



This is an admission that you would discard good hires in favour of better dressed but less capable



Specifically speaking of interviews, I am not sure of the difference. Lets say the two applicants are equally technically skilled, but one has the forethought to know the audience and has the ability to both dress and speak appropriately. This is invaluable in an IT environment where aligning IT to business need is paramount because so much of doing this is the ability to communicate across technical boundaries. I can teach almost anyone technical skills, but I cannot teach the other; it is either there or it is not.
Post #1508719
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 6:30 PM


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Keith Hays (10/27/2013)

Specifically speaking of interviews, I am not sure of the difference. Lets say the two applicants are equally technically skilled, but one has the forethought to know the audience and has the ability to both dress and speak appropriately. This is invaluable in an IT environment where aligning IT to business need is paramount because so much of doing this is the ability to communicate across technical boundaries. I can teach almost anyone technical skills, but I cannot teach the other; it is either there or it is not.

I will admit during an interview that I am not the best person to talk to end-users. I also admit that I don't want to be a supervisor. I can train people and lead a project team to do something like upgrades, roll outs, or similar projects, but don't want to do it day in and day out.

The one thing that I have been taught is that no matter how casual an environment the day-to-day is show up for the interview in a suit. If you walk in and see that the receptionist is wearing "daisy dukes" and a t-shirt, you can always loosen the tie (or take it off), unbutton the top button and carry your jacket.

But you can't get from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit.




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Post #1508721
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:15 PM
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This is an admission that you would discard good hires in favour of better dressed but less capable


Perhaps you can see how this thread got ugly last time.
Post #1508728
Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 8:04 AM


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I think that unless a certain dresscode is required, dressing in a suit to an interview is a pretty much an ironclad prerequisite, and people who don't adhere indicate they don't perceive one of three things:
1) Dressing formally to interviews is a social convention
2) Not being able to identify and accede to social conventions causes negative impressions
3) Dressing formally for an occasion indicates respect for the occasion

Having been on the interviewer side, as well as the interviewee side, I can agree with the comments that whilst a sloppy or informal appearance doesn't disqualify a person, it certainly provides an instant lowering of my opinion of them that has to be countered.

During the work week however, my clothing varies from very smart to probably not quite smart enough, and it is mainly dependant on my activities that day. A day of intensive thinking and coding is not a day where I should be uncomfortable. A day where I meet executives, deliver presentations, or interview people, is a day when I dress up.

[somewhat tongue in cheek rant]
Men get a bum deal with 'smart clothes' in the workplace. They are stuck with shirts and suit trousers, and in some places *shudder* ties. Women get away with a lot more variety and typically lower levels of smartness. Even on casual days, men are often prevented from wearing shorts.

I find this an unfortunate circumstance, because the root reason is often 'I wouldn't want to see another man's legs'. This is men keeping men uncomfortable because of what, dislike of leg hair, homophobia, the fact they objectify women in the workplace and dislike the idea of men being objectified by women / other men? All very silly reasons IMHO

This is sexism against men, perpetrated by men - viva la resistance! Break out the shorts!


[/rant]
Post #1508896
Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 8:12 AM


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Steph Locke (10/28/2013)
I think that unless a certain dresscode is required, dressing in a suit to an interview is a pretty much an ironclad prerequisite, and people who don't adhere indicate they don't perceive one of three things:
1) Dressing formally to interviews is a social convention
2) Not being able to identify and accede to social conventions causes negative impressions
3) Dressing formally for an occasion indicates respect for the occasion

Having been on the interviewer side, as well as the interviewee side, I can agree with the comments that whilst a sloppy or informal appearance doesn't disqualify a person, it certainly provides an instant lowering of my opinion of them that has to be countered.

During the work week however, my clothing varies from very smart to probably not quite smart enough, and it is mainly dependant on my activities that day. A day of intensive thinking and coding is not a day where I should be uncomfortable. A day where I meet executives, deliver presentations, or interview people, is a day when I dress up.

[somewhat tongue in cheek rant]
Men get a bum deal with 'smart clothes' in the workplace. They are stuck with shirts and suit trousers, and in some places *shudder* ties. Women get away with a lot more variety and typically lower levels of smartness. Even on casual days, men are often prevented from wearing shorts.

I find this an unfortunate circumstance, because the root reason is often 'I wouldn't want to see another man's legs'. This is men keeping men uncomfortable because of what, dislike of leg hair, homophobia, the fact they objectify women in the workplace?

This is sexism against men, perpetrated by men - viva la resistance! Break out the shorts!


[/rant]


But...

I received a job based on an interview that took place on a swing-set in someone's back yard. I went there during lunch from my current employer. Both the setting and the situation meant I wasn't wearing a suit or tie. In fact, I was wearing shorts, sneakers and a witty t-shirt (I think it was an X-Files shirt). I got the job.

I interviewed for my current position while wearing a kilt. Needless to say, I got this job too. Oh, and I interviewed with another company that same day, wearing the same kilt.

The old days of iron-clad rules are gone. Maybe not everywhere (for example, I would assume that an interview with a financial services firm, I'm going to be wearing a suit & tie), but lots of places just don't require that kind of rigid behavior any more.

I know that upsets people, but it's reality.

And I'm with you. Let's break out the shorts and the kilts.


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Post #1508901
Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 8:55 AM


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Grant Fritchey (10/28/2013)[hrBut...

I received a job based on an interview that took place on a swing-set in someone's back yard. I went there during lunch from my current employer. Both the setting and the situation meant I wasn't wearing a suit or tie. In fact, I was wearing shorts, sneakers and a witty t-shirt (I think it was an X-Files shirt). I got the job.

I interviewed for my current position while wearing a kilt. Needless to say, I got this job too. Oh, and I interviewed with another company that same day, wearing the same kilt.

The old days of iron-clad rules are gone. Maybe not everywhere (for example, I would assume that an interview with a financial services firm, I'm going to be wearing a suit & tie), but lots of places just don't require that kind of rigid behavior any more.

I know that upsets people, but it's reality.

And I'm with you. Let's break out the shorts and the kilts.


I'm not sure I'd count a meeting on a swing as an interview, but certainly, the context removes the formality inherent in an interview, and relaxes the dress code too. It'd be on a similar footing to a discussion about a job held in a coffee shop - I wouldn't expect anyone to show up in a suit unless that's what they wore to work that day.

In the UK, the kilt would be considered formal and suitable attire - particularly if you had one like this chap
Post #1508938
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