Monday, August 18, 2014

Proper Office Attire Can Make Or Break The Interview

Dear Tazi:

I am a recent college graduate, which is to say that I do not have a lot of money. My debts (student loans, credit cards) are high and my finances are low; so I do not have a lot of money for life’s necessities, and you can forget about the extras! I am looking for a full-time job in my field, and between my grades and my past internships my résumé looks pretty good!

I have been called in for several interviews, and have always worn my best suit, but apparently my best clothes are not good enough. I do realize my suit is not the latest fashion and my shirt and tie not the latest colors, but once I start making some real money I will be able to afford new dress clothes. Right now, I need someone to take a chance on me so I can prove that what’s underneath the suit is top-notch.

I don’t expect you to be able to offer me any practical advice, but I hope you will print my letter so that maybe the people who hire others will take into consideration that recent graduates have not yet had the chance to build up a 5-star wardrobe, but are willing to do so once they are financially able.

More Gooch Than Gucci

Dear More Gooch Than Gucci:

Your situation is not an uncommon one, for graduates or others who are seeking employment after being unemployed for a stretch of time. I realize that you are having a hard time making ends meet, so if new clothes are an impossibility at this time there is not much you can do about it. However, you do not need to be buying Gucci to look good. JC Penney has some nice men’s clothing for not a lot of money. You do not have to go all-out in order to look good for an interview. A new shirt and tie combination will freshen up your look without busting your budget, and all you need is one – for the interview.

Once you have a job, you could budget money each week towards small changes to your wardrobe that will make a big difference in your look. If a new shirt and tie from JC Penney or Wal-Mart are out of your budget, and you are unable to attain a short-term loan from Mom and Dad to assist with these necessary costs, I suggest that you try to make do with what you have; sprucing up as much as possible for your interviews and making sure that you look professional – this means no sagging pants or un-tucked shirts. A professional wears his pants on his upper hip or waist, not “below the equator” as my Mommie’s college R.A. used to say!

You can also mention the elephant in the room when you are interviewing. Tell the Hiring Manager that you realize your wardrobe does not fit with the company image and that you will work to change that once you start earning a paycheck. As impressive as your credentials might be, the companies with which you are interviewing have a public image that they wish to represent. If your look does not meet that standard, you must let them know that you are willing to accommodate them if they are willing to give you a chance. Good luck and happy job hunting!


Post-publication P.S.: OMG!!!! Someone just told me what "gooch" means in today's slang! EWWWWWW!!!!!!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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