Cousi wrote:As someone involved in the interview process, I find it amazing what people will wear to an interview. I had a discussion some years ago with a contemporary who was complaining about having a hard time getting hired. When I pointed out his numerous facial piercings, he said "I'm not stupid; I take them out for the interview" to which I responded "and you think they won't see the holes?"
This inevitably ends up with the old saw of "they should accept me for who I am" which is a trite and frankly whiny complaint. If you want something (a job) from them (the employer) that means that you need to accept them, they don't have to accept you at all. During the interview process, you're looking for personality for the most part. By the time you've gotten an interview its been determined that you have the skills so the interview is really to determine two things: 1 - did you lie on your resume? and 2 - do I want to work with this person? If you show up to an interview wearing Birkenstocks and a tie-die t-shirt that first question has become immediately irrelevant because the second one has already been answered.
People are judged by their looks. Depending on what study you chose to believe, anywhere from 60 to 90% of what you're saying is done through non-verbal communication: what you're wearing, your facial expression, what you do with your hands, are you fidgeting, do you look tired, do you look like you've just come home from a rave and thrown on your best suit, do you have holes in your face - these are all things that people see and evaluate you on, often times without even realizing it.
At the same time, people forget the interview process goes both ways. Just because you're interviewing at a company doesn't mean the guy before you is someone you want to work with or for. How would you react if the person interviewing you for an office job was wearing a t-shirt with holes in it sporting a three-day uneven beard with residual pieces of lunch in it? What if when they shook your hand their hand was cold, clammy and damp? As they spoke to you, were they nervous and fidgety? Could you smell them before you saw them? Would you want to work for a guy like that? (I say guy because if your interviewer is a woman sporting a three-day beard there are other issues at play.) Before going into the interview, do you know what the company does? Are they publicly traded? How do their stocks look? What sort of environment is it? What sort of cars were in the parking lot? Even if you aren't consciously aware of it, you are judging them just as they are judging you. If you're the kind of person who has piercings and goes to raves every weekend, you're likely thinking the clean-cut guy wearing a shirt and tie that's interviewing you really needs to loosen up and live a little.
I swear, if we really wanted high school to prepare people for life, we'd be teaching them how to balance a checkbook, change the oil in their cars and how to interview. [/soapbox]
ortega76 wrote:You know who I blame for this? Dr. Gregory House. Seriously, I know the guy is a fictional character but he embodies so much of this attitude many Americans have about their physical appearance. The guy is a genius and he is surly and rude. He dresses in crumpled tees and sneakers while his underlings are generally much more appropriately dressed. Oh, but he's a genius so it doesn't matter. He's judged on his abilities, not his social graces.
Guess what. None of us is Gregory House.
Well look who's talking; I haven't worn an actual suit in over a year, a black suit on a cruise ship and at evenings, but this is a mode of dress that I find very respectable for office-type jobs. It's kind of sad to witness the decline of the suit in business settings, but at least they're still present. Something's got to be done to make suits seem more approachable and casual. I don't think fashion models are doing enough for that, if anything they may be turning people away from the style, whether it is due to their messy hairstyles or their too-tight dark suits, almost always black or dark grey. Then there's another thing, it seems that for most dress codes that do require suits, they are to be the standard charcoal grey, or black ones. It certainly is conservative, and I consider myself a conservative person, but I think many people may think suits are "boring" for that reason. Why not allow brown, tan, olive, lighter than dark navy blue, or lighter grey colored suits? A charcoal or black suit can still look sharp, and well put together, but I would like to see dress codes, instead of going just business casual like everyone else, allow for suit/sport coat color variety.
The subject of the tie on other hand, I can see why people might hate them, but why not allow loosely tied neckties as well? Sure, it may be unkempt looking, but it can seem cool if done right. I have a theory that if we're ever to see a massive, large-scale return of the business suit and necktie at the work-place again, variety will likely have to be allowed to make wearing them seem attractive, cool, hip, and whatever else individuals may identify them as. Right now, suits and ties mainly project an overly serious, uninteresting, or boring look, I'm assuming, as they are on the decline.
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