This reader question is about men’s job interview style for a business lunch. Women also need to pay heed to not trump the person who is conducting your interview.
Dear Sharon: I have a lunch interview at a fairly upscale restaurant next week. I am a guy who has no fashion sense. However, I do know that I will be suiting up for this occasion. I have a navy suit, white shirt and black tie.
My question is, should I take off my suit jacket when I sit down with my potential employer?
I have been getting conflicting advice from friends about leaving it on and taking it off. Please help! (K. via Fashion Advice)
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Smart guy! YOU know you should suit up for a job interview. It demonstrates respect for the situation and shows you mean business.
If you’re in a more creative field, a sports jacket and shirt are fine. The trendier or more laid back the industry is, the more you can ease up, like wearing a dark jacket, patterned shirt, and dark jeans or polished khakis.
But that extra element of wearing a blazer seals the deal for looking professional.
So, when do you take your jacket off during a business lunch?
Not until, and only after, the person you are interviewing with takes off his jacket. And, ask for permission first!
You’ll come across as arrogant and lax if you sit down, take off your jacket, roll up your sleeves and the person you are interviewing with is still buttoned up.
While you are at it, don’t over order if the other person is having just one course. A simple, “what do you recommend eating here” question will narrow your choices.
The other thing you should take the lead of is sipping at the sauce.
I wouldn’t recommend ordering a drink first, under any situation. But if the interviewer has ordered a drink, and you really feel the need to do the same, order ONE light drink like a wine or beer. Leave the hard booze and mixed drinks to the Madman crowd. Good luck!
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