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Job Skills How to dress for interviews (internship for my chemistry course)

  1. Oct 29, 2011 #1
    I have a couple of interviews coming up in the next few days but I don't really know what to wear. The first interview is for a quality assurance technologist position with a pharmaceutical company and the 2nd one is a research position (researching new adhesives) for an R&D company. I heard from the other males in my course that they are wearing suits. I can't afford a suit at the moment so I have to make use of what I've got. I have a white shirt and a pair of black shoes. The shirt looks professional but the shoes are the kinda shoes people wear with their school uniform:
    [PLAIN]http://c0.dmlimg.com/1fc1c1c2db5852e08ffc380475e263364571898a5e1539e0e632980204bb4801.jpg [Broken]
    ^^ thats the make of shoes but mine are all black
    I'm gonna borrow a pair of black pants off someone. Can someone with experience in matters such as this inform me about how it works. Will people who show up with a full suit (as in a shirt, tie, blazer, black pants and black business shoes) be more likely to get the job than someone with only a shirt, black pants and school shoes?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2011 #2
    Borrow, rent, or buy a second hand suit.
  4. Oct 29, 2011 #3
    Go to goodwill if you have to. They honestly might have something that works out good. Also, target is pretty cheap, and like the above poster put, you can rent. But goodwill might even be cheaper than that.
  5. Oct 29, 2011 #4
    Buy a suit and abuse the return policy, if you have to.

    Not wearing a suit will make you stand out, in a bad way. And you don't want to risk that "in this economy."
  6. Oct 30, 2011 #5
    Alright so I'll just get a suit. Just found out that Tesco sells suits for €50. That I can afford. Its just the jacket and pants, I'll borrow a tie. Should I get a better pair of shoes? I didn't think of exploiting the return policy, I might as well just get a decent pair of shoes and return them once the interview period is over. Thanks for the info!
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  7. Oct 30, 2011 #6


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    Not wearing a suit to an interview signals you are not serious about the job.
  8. Oct 30, 2011 #7
    I have a friend who was a model in LA years ago. She used to go on "go-sees", which are modeling auditions. She would buy a nice new pair of shoes and put masking tape on the bottoms to keep them from getting scuffed up so that she could return them after her go-see. I'm not sure how well this works, but it worked for her.

    Or you might even find a nice pair of slightly or never worn shoes at a second-hand or consignment shop. Or even on Ebay.
  9. Oct 30, 2011 #8
    My uncle just sorted me out proper with a dark gray Calvin Klein jacket and pants. All I need now is the shoes. I'm wondering should I wear a tie or not though. It seems like it'd be overkill to me.

    rk1966: Thanks. I don't see why that masking tape trick wouldn't work (so long as I don't take any shortcuts through muddy fields on the way to the interview). The shoes will be in the same condition I bought them in so I won't be causing the shop any problems. Although my feet reek exceptionally bad so they might not smell the same lol.
  10. Oct 30, 2011 #9
    In my opinion, wear the tie. It's more professional.
  11. Oct 30, 2011 #10
    I'll take your advice and borrow a tie. God its gonna feel weird wearing all this. I'm ordinarily so negligent of my physical appearance that I occasionally get mistaken for a homeless person.
  12. Oct 30, 2011 #11
    When I used to be a secretary, I'd wear a suit (women's of course) to each interview. I was always offered the job. And for anyone who thinks big, deal, you were a secretary. I wound up being the assistant to the Vice President of a HUGE pharmaceutical company and I made a better salary than the new PhD's we hired. Doesn't seem right, but without me, my boss' day would not have run as smoothly as it did.

    After getting the chance to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse, I'd wear a suit to those interviews and would get a job offer on the spot. If I'd shown up looking like I was homeless, I might have been admitted to the psych ward.

    Wearing a suit gives most people more confidence and that comes across in an interview. It shows that you made an effort to appear more professional and a company is looking to hire someone who will make their company appear more professional. Even if you don't wear suits to work every day, the interview is most important.
  13. Oct 30, 2011 #12
    Seriously? Well the saying goes 'dress for the job you want to have.' If you look sloppy it's a natural inclination for others to think you will carry that into your work.
  14. Oct 30, 2011 #13
    I've heard it said that you dress one step above the standard dress for the job. So for a smart-casual type job - a suit, and for a suit type job, a really, really good suit.

    I'm going to feel properly awkward when I start going for interviews, it's a rare day that I even brush my hair, let alone wear a shirt, or smart shoes or shock/horror, a tie! I hope I can pull it off haha.
  15. Oct 31, 2011 #14
    Goodwill or any other thrift store is a good place to go for a cheap suit.

    Wear a tie. It will never hurt you to over dress, but it will hurt you to under dress. If you go into the interview and you suddenly realize that the tie is a bad thing (which is unlikely) you can always take it off.

    Also clothes are a sign of status. Since you are looking for a job, your status is low to non-existent which means that you need to dress well.
  16. Nov 1, 2011 #15
    Dress like you want the job. Suit, if you have it. If not, wear a sport coat, dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes, and a tie. Remember the old saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Don't stare, but keep eye contact. Sit up straight, stay on point in conversations, and don't go off on a tangent talking about wild times at school. Pass on the beer and get tea. If you go out to eat, table manners! Don't get messy food. You always want to look in control, and not like you're fumbling with chop sticks, etc. These people aren't your friends yet! Be serious, thoughtful, and know the company. Know what they do and where. Study up on them! They need to know you are more than the other guy showing up for an interview hoping the coin flip goes his/her way.

    Lastly, manners. You may potentially be representing this company. Without looking awkward, if you have a chance to hold the door, pull out the chair, say "please" "thank you", etc., do it. They need to see you will represent them well.
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