FWIW: Interviewing - Make-or-Break Interview Mistakes

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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I agree with Stat Steven. Check the culture and if you still are a little confused on what to where: Then ask the question, like I was thinking of wearing a suit, how would you prefer me to dress?

Coury Ferguson
Program/Contracts Manager


An Early Cover
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Wes Bucey said:
....If you were the interviewer, did you mentally consign a candidate to the seventh circle of he!! because he exhibited a flaw of wearing a loud or garish tie or some other minor idiosyncrasy?

Aside from the dress appropriately paragraph, I pretty much agree with her.

As to dress appropriately, I hired a co-op engineering student every work term for many years. In the beginning I carried out interviews and so on.

After a few years, I struck a deal with the co-op placement office. After all jobs had closed, they could just send me the student who had not found a job and lived closed to our plant. Sight unseen, start tommorrow.

Like Forest Gump I never knew what I was going to get. Bad me, some I would never have hired.

Interestingly, every single one was an excellent worker, if they had the stuff to be in Univeristy, they were going to be OK.

So I learned clothes (or piercings) do not make the person, and I learned a lot more about my own attitudes.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
In this article I sensed a mix of haughty authority (it's always nice to get input from an HR rep.) and fatigue. Are we seeing symptoms of overload?

She might not see it that way, but this person may have done too many interviews. Could it be a high turnover rate contributes to this problem?

What if the turnover rate were lower and she could work more on employee development and less on weeding out a recurring tide of candidates?

That said, I have a dear Aunt whose personality can be such that my family has sometimes been mortified in her company. She can be quite commandeering and think it's professionally just fine. She will readily explain that professional demeanors do vary along with dialects in this country, however, and has been a success so I can't really criticize.

Overall, as time goes by more people seem to emerge into adulthood without a sense of propriety that would serve in an interview situation. I think that today's young people are not often asked to attend gatherings where their manners must be tailored. Further, a sense of First Amendment protection has apparently convinced many that social caution isn't needed.

So, I found the advice mostly good and it's important for today's work seekers to understand the burden is on them. It's an employer's market so interviewees should adopt an appropriately professional approach in order to be taken seriously.


I once got a job just because I wore a suit to the interview - the interviewer actually told me that. It was a contract job at GM in the mid 90s, so I also fit the requirements of breathing and able to show up at the tech center every day so the contract house could bill for me.


My father has a story he likes to tell about an interviewee he once had. This was in the early 60's and a chemist came in for an interview. My dad said he was dressed nice except he wasn't wearing socks. My dad didn't hire him for that reason.


Dress according to the Job

I applied for the company I work for now with a suit on for an entry level position 12 years ago and didn't get the job after the 2nd interview. People around me showed up for the same interview in flannel shirts and work boots, it was a material handler position, but non-the less I was always taught to dress up for interviews. Then I pulled a fast one. I interviewed for a subsidiary of the company in jeans and a collared shirt, no tie. I got a job as an inspector (I did lie on my application and indicated that I never had applied to the company before). 6 months later I was a lead, 14 months later I was a supervisor and after 3 years I became a corporate auditor.
Now I am back at the parent company working as an auditor the turned me down originally! :lmao:

(side note) Some mistakes come even before you interview. When I was a hiring supervisor our group of supervisors automatically threw out anyone with a felony or misdemeanor, they didn't even make the pile for review. It didn't even if the person was a Einstein or not. Just to let those people know what goes on in HR behind closed doors. Of course we never told anyone that practice.

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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I was told in my younger College days (when I was in theatre) to dress the part that you are trying to get. This is also applies to interviews, dress according to you position in which you are applying for and I as I said in my previous post "call and ask" this will help you in determine what to wear.

Coury Ferguson
Program/Contract Manager

Cordon - 2007

Never gave it much thought till now.....but I've never had a job interveiw! When I started here 13 years ago I hired in through a temp service, just had to fill out an application, the rest is history. Before that I always worked doing manual labor.

Go figure :biglaugh:

Rob Nix

My thinking is more along the lines of Coury, Steven, and Jennifer. If you want the job, qualify for it, and (after having researched it) believe the company is a match for you, then dress and behave according to the position you are applying.

Wearing a three-piece business suit when applying at McDonald's to cook burgers is as inappropriate as jeans and a t-shirt when applying for a bank management position.

I do have to say, regarding dress and grooming, that you must be careful not to choose what may or may not be "over-the-top" according to your own personal standards. You have to look at what is commonly and predominantly socially acceptable. You may think that a Taz tie, spandex pants, or numerous facial piercings say nothing of your work performance, but who will likely be the first person interviewing you - and how does he/she see things?

Now, it may be fine to stand on pride if you can be choosy, but if you have a family to feed, you may need to learn a little compromise (and I'm not talking about compromising principles, just grooming choices at the time of an interview) and it might give you some time & opportunity to learn what the company's true "boundaries" are. At that point it may give you a better picture of whether you want to work there or not; IMHO.
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