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Job Interview: help requested


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I have a job interview. What the heck does one wear to that? I'm currently thinking black pants and a stripped shirt, or a black knee-length skirt and umm... a shirt of some kind? I need guidelines or assistance!

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I definitely agree with the "shirt of some kind".

I think it depends a little bit on what the job is, but it never really hurts to be more professionally clad than the people you are interviewing with.

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Okay. It's an entry level position where you are basically assisting the receptionist (the receptionist works part-time so there is some of that, too). But it's for the government and I've never worked with them before (I've only ever worked in factories; standards are different there). I have hung around their buildings so I think that I sort of understand the black pants/nice shirt with buttons idea.

And don't worry - I wasn't going to take advantage of our legal toplessness!

ETA I think the issue is that I don't know what "professional attire" looks like outside of watching these people go for lunch breaks. I think I need to google some images.

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Professional attire can vary widely. Especially if a place considers itself business casual. That can mean anything from jeans to a formal pant suit.

I'd go with a skirt and a nice top. Even if the person interviewing is sitting there in khaki's, you will have made the impression that you cared enough to dress like you want the job.

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I can put a top with a skirt and then add a necklace or a scarf and it looks great but takes no effort at all. I think the shirt and black skirt sound good. An understated necklace or a simple bracelet is also fine. Good-looking shoes that aren't sneakers or flip-flops are necessary. Clean, short fingernails, a firm handshake, and look the person in the eye when you speak to her---do those few simple things and you'll make a good impression.

Just for comic relief----I was talking to the guy who owns the store in our village about job applicants. He had one young woman who came in to apply for a job in her PAJAMAS! Hello? When did this sort of thing start happening? If you don't know enough to get dressed for an interview, what the hell will you wear to work if you get hired??

You'll do fine, Rosie.

olga

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I agree with everyone, and good luck!

I usually wear black or gray dress pants with a simple, flowing blouse. Long sleeved. I get my job interview clothes at Suzy Shier.

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My mom worked for the Veterans' Administration, and the office wore business attire. This was in Pittsburgh, I can't speak to the rest of the country.

I would say a black knee length skirt is perfect. I personally would wear a blouse, or a less t-shirt-y top. The scarf is a really good idea. Wear "sensible heels" or flats, 2" or lower. If you have some pearls or nice faux pearls (I have a really nice string of faux pearls, you would be amazed), that is another idea if you don't like the scarf idea.

Wearing panty hose would be extra safe, but a lot of lawyer and teacher jobs required panty hose when I was interviewing a decade ago, so that may no longer be considered a necessity.

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Oh, and maybe some light makeup, but again, I am talking about a decade ago. If you are good at makeup, the "natural look" is what you are going for. I suck at makeup personally.

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Oh yeah. I need to cover my calves anyway because I have monstrous tattoos there. When I wear a skirt it automatically means knee-socks or opaque tights until I know their policies.

Sounds like a good thing that I made a nice pearl string with glass beads interspersed last winter! And San, thanks so much for the "where to shop" ideas. I usually end up at Goodwill or Sally Ann and then have a freakout because I can't find anything that fits, and then go to Winners.

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I'd say stay on the more conservative side for dress when you're interviewing with the government and the position will have anything to do with greeting the public. I would for sure wear a skirt for a first interview. If you have a second interview, then I would maybe wear some slacks. Light makeup and some pantyhose (much as I hate the things) would be good. I wouldn't wear shoes higher than 2 inches, maybe 2.5 inches. A nice pump if you have some. A colorful blouse is okay but nothing too loud. If it's like any of the government jobs I've ever worked at, conservative dress is the key.

Best of luck!

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Guest Vapourware

Good luck!

I've worked in various government positions over the years. Skirt or black trousers will work, although I usually turned up wearing black trousers. I think subdued colours will work better than colourful shirts at an interview.

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I vote for black or grey pants and a subdued button down top, maybe something with light colored stripes.

I suggest pants over skirts so you don't have to worry about "sitting like a lady" so much. I suck at that. I sit like a man most of the time. Not an attractive scene in a skirt. Plus you won't be worrying about runs in your stockings. In my head, I'm thinking something like this:

confident_woman.jpg

but with a more conservative heel (don't think stilettos send the right message).

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