This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.

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    Shop owners, what makes a person look professional, but also ready to jump into action? Freelancers(or anyone else) what do you wear to interview or visit a new shop?

      • Experience: 5-10 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      When I was looking, I tried to do as much research as I could to get a feel for the type of place I was interviewing at. I’ve walked into places and been told to loosen up. I’ve also felt under dressed.

      I’m interested in other people’s responses.

       Jason Strom
        • Experience: 15-20 years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        I don’t know that there is one “right” way, especially in our industry that is built on a more relaxed environment. If it is strictly an interview, professionalism is key, but so is being comfortable and relaxed. You might look professional in a suit and tie, but if you aren’t comfortable it will show in your body language. I think the most important thing about an interview is that you show your employer that you know how to not just look professional, but be professional. And that is carried in your body language as much as your clothing. So, that’s a really vague answer, I know. But, everyone’s body is different and what each of us thinks is comfortable is different. So, I guess the takeaway is: Dress like an adult, but do it comfortably.

        When I was in charge of a shop, I never expected a suit and tie from prospective employees. I did expect them to look like they take care of themselves, and pay attention to what they are wearing. You don’t have to be fashion designer, but do have a little sense!

         Rachael Claxton
          • Experience: 5-10 years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Often times I’ll interview at a shop, and I always make a point to wear clothes that are shop-appropriate, yet nice looking. For me, that means nice pants, close toed shoes, and a nice shirt. That way, when you tour the shop, you’re not at risk of a screw stabbing you in the toe, or a heel slipping on a level change, etc. I always pick something I feel comfortable and confident in, which is the most important thing to me. When I’m interviewing candidates, all I’m really looking for in that regard is that the person is relatively put together. I feel like if you’re coming in for an interview there’s no need to wear paint clothes, as you aren’t painting, but also the opposite end of the spectrum – a suit and tie – isn’t necessary. In most situations, I think the suit and tie level of dress probably is overkill. That being said, if you feel most confident that dressed up then go for it. The reality is that pretty much everyone is aware that unless you’re interviewing for a management position, you’ll never wear these clothes again to work so as long as you show up like you made an effort then you’ll be fine.


            Folx that might be inclined to do so, DON’T WEAR HEELS!

            As a former shop owner, I had a few interviewees arrive dressed super clean, in peep toe heels, dangly accessories, prim Interview Suit dresses made from fabrics I know I couldn’t get paint smudges off of. Felt like I was walking on eggshells just shaking their hands, and tiptoeing around on a shop tour felt (to me, can’t speak for the job candidates) precarious and ill thought out. I just kept thinking “maybe this person hasn’t ever worked in a shop before?”

            So I’m seconding a lot of what’s above- I’d recommend something way more utilitarian, but not sloppy. Clean jeans and a buttoned up flannel and closed toed shoes are totally fine. Something you’d be comfortable wearing to grab dinner with crew after work. In this case, I think the ‘Dress for Success’ mantra is more about successfully looking like someone I could talk shop with, and also feel confident introducing to both a big deal designer and someone who loads trucks all day.

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