The Question –
How important is my interview suit. I have multiple meetings, can I wear the same outfit to every meeting?
The devil is in the details, and when you are looking to land a 6 figure job, you better believe they notice these things. With two weeks between interviews, and the fact you wore a conservative suit, a different shirt and tie will suffice. But in my opinion, you ought to look at avoiding this dilemma in the future and consider purchasing a new suit soon.
If you expect to be wearing a suit daily I would plan on slowly buying 5 suits, 15 shirts, and 10 ties. You’ll also need at least two pairs of quality shoes, although I recommend most of my clients own 4 to 5. If you plan it right and go with conservative colors and patterns that interchange easily, you’ll not only be able to dress without worrying about how you look but you’ll go months between wearing the same thing.
When looking to buy clothing, remember to look for these three things -
The Proper Fit – I don’t care if the suit has a 90% discount; if it doesn’t fit you it will not look good. And when you find a suit that fits you well, take it to get tailored so that it fits you perfectly. Nothing is as important as fit.
Timeless Style – Ensure the clothing is classic in style. You want a suit you can wear not only this season, but 5 years from now. Avoid fads like the current thin lapels, and instead opt for styles that compliment your individual body style. Spread shirt collars on the narrow faced man and point collars for the round faced fellow. Go with conservative colors such as navy blue or my favorite charcoal grey (which does not accentuate youth, thus helping you avoid looking like your 17).
Quality – Go with Wool if you can afford it, a blend with up to 40% man made fibers is OK if you are cash strapped. Wool is sought after because it maintains its shape, retains heat, absorbs moisture without showing, and it has the look other fabrics are judged by.
I’m interviewing with a company and have been invited to one of their receptions at a local hotel. How important is this? I’ve heard if you are not a people person these can be dangerous to your chances. Can I bring my significant other along?
These receptions are very important, here’s why -
Think of it like dating; everyone there is looking for a partner to make a commitment to. At these receptions you have the opportunity to stand out, to make a great first impression, and meet the people who will be looking at your resume. If you are not a top student or don’t have as impressive a resume as your peers, this is your shot to get in. A good conversation with a recruiter can help them overlook your less than stellar grades, or your display of wit can help them forgive your lack of experience in their field.
This is also your opportunity to interview them. Are these people you want to spend time with? Do you fit into their culture? If you don’t look out for yourself in the hiring process, no one else will.
Your right, it may be dangerous for some, especially if you have no social skills but have a killer resume. But how far is this going to get you anyway? You may land an internship or job, but within 6 months you’ll realize the match is a bad fit for both of you and you’ll either be fired or worse continue on and hate your job.
As for taking your significant other – unless they were invited I would say no. You want to focus on the job at hand, and make no mistake, this is work. You should know who is going to be there, information about the firms you are interested in, and get a list of names from career services so you can look out for them.