Dress code for Lunch "interview"

bermovickbermovick Posts: 1,134Member ■■■■□□□□□□
I got a call earlier today from a company I'd sortof 'cold called' about a month ago (someone here listed places they'd consulted with/for in the area when they'd lived nearby). I'd spoken to someone about entry level openings, etc and emailed my resume to him at the email address he gave me.

(oh dang; I just looked him up on linkedin; he's an executive VP).

Anyway, I got a call back from him today; he's going to be up at the local office next week and wants me to meet him at Panera for what I'm guessing is a lunch interview (1:30 is a bit late, but the place is a restaurant... sortof). He said it was for something entry-level they were doing. (I don't remember the specifics; I was too excited and he'd said we'd go over the details then.)

I'm really nervous now haha; this is a chance to get some actual experience under my belt. And to not have to do unpaid interning to boot!

Questions; How should I dress? Tie? Jacket?? Any other words of wisdom?
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Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Full suit with tie, unless they specifically tell you to wear anything. This is what I go by.
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  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    When in doubt, suit up.
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  • varelgvarelg Posts: 790Banned
    Suit up for a sitdown in ... Panera?! Of all places?!
    Formal pants and ironed dress shirt and dress shoes, no tie or suits. This is how interviews/sitdowns are done at informal places like Panera, Starbucks etc...
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  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Posts: 658Member
    Always push the limits it does not matter if it is at Mc D, you are meeting a E:VP suit up.

    I see people at Panera do lunch meetings in suits all the time maybe he likes their sandwiches or soup.
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  • TheShadowTheShadow Posts: 1,057Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Chris:/* wrote: »
    Always push the limits it does not matter if it is at Mc D, you are meeting a E:VP suit up.

    I see people at Panera do lunch meetings in suits all the time maybe he likes their sandwiches or soup.

    +1

    Full battle dress, I say White Tie.

    Be sure to taste your food before you season it. He may be an old school guy looking to see if you can hang with his customer base. Salt first means you are fixed in your ways and race in before contemplation.
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  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Im with the others. Suit and boot on first meeting.

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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    If you have a suit, that's your best bet. At minimum, however, slacks and a dress-shirt is a must. One thing I've learned in doing business lunches and lunch/dinner interviews is to order something light to eat. You don't want to spend your time munching on a giant burger or scarfing down a big steak while you're talking shop, (and you definitely don't want to increase the risk of spilling something on your interview-clothes.)

    Other than that, just think of it as any other interview and treat it as such. You're trying to make the best impression you can, so make sure you stay as formal as possible and don't accidentally "let down your guard" in the more casual environment. I'm sure more than one person on this board can tell you horror stories of people divulging too much personal information and/or hitting the wine & beer (not applicable in this case) a little hard during these kinds of "in the wild" interviews. . .

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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  • SabaloSabalo Posts: 100Member
    Hmm, I am not a fan of the suit, especially in this instance. It feels like desperation, from my POV. I generally dress nice, but not suit-y. In fact, I don't think I've ever worn a suit to an interview.
    I'm no expert, I'm just a guy with some time, money, and the desire to learn a few things.

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  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Sabalo wrote: »
    Hmm, I am not a fan of the suit, especially in this instance. It feels like desperation, from my POV. I generally dress nice, but not suit-y. In fact, I don't think I've ever worn a suit to an interview.

    I disagree entirely. All an employer is interested in from an interview is the below:-

    1) experience required for role
    2) good fit for the role based on aptitude and attitude
    3) Good image for the company

    Regardless that you may spend 99% of your time in the position in jeans and t-shirt, you are giving a first impression of how your image would be reflected as being part of that company. You always dress to impress, there is no compromise in my opinion.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • Miikey87Miikey87 Posts: 65Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Definately, first impressions count. You want to be on the right side of there expectations just incase.
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  • za3bourza3bour Posts: 1,062Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well i have a silly question, what do you order in a situation like this (lunch during interview) ?

    As for dress-code, suit for sure even if the interview was in the swimming pool :D
  • Stiltz79Stiltz79 Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I personally would wear a suit but I have the problem where I don't own a suit. When you're 6'10" tall, it is very hard to find a suit coat that fits and custom made suits are out of my price range.
  • SabaloSabalo Posts: 100Member
    I just share what works for me... your mileage may vary. icon_wink.gif

    I don't do suits and I answer questions honestly, even when it may potentially lose me a job opportunity. It has worked well thus far.
    I'm no expert, I'm just a guy with some time, money, and the desire to learn a few things.

    Completed ITILv3 on 11/20, working on College & METEO, reading Classics on my Kindle, organizing my music library with Mediamonkey & TuneUp, trying to lose a wee bit of weight by running, eating less, and lifting weights, planning for my stateside vacation, and wasting time posting on forums.
  • jason_lundejason_lunde Posts: 567Member
    za3bour wrote: »
    Well i have a silly question, what do you order in a situation like this (lunch during interview) ?

    Generally anything thats not messy. I typically order a pretty dry sandwich with no alot of sauces. Like someone mentioned earlier, the last thing you want to do is mess up your attire. You want something that you can eat on...but thats not the main purpose of the sit down. So keep it simple enough that you can concentrate on who you are there with, and what you need to be saying/doing.
  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Posts: 658Member
    za3bour wrote: »
    Well i have a silly question, what do you order in a situation like this (lunch during interview) ?

    As for dress-code, suit for sure even if the interview was in the swimming pool :D

    As Jason and Slowhand have mentioned something that is not messy and leaves a good impression. You are really not there to eat but to partake in food to be courteous while talking business nothing more. Just be glad interviews like this are not conducted in Japan. You are required to drink heavily with the boss but not act drunk or be embarrassing and be extremely fun, talk about stressful when you are less than a full cup of tea.
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  • MishraMishra Posts: 2,468Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just wear a suit. No sane person is going to think

    "Oh my he has a suit.... Wow he is desperate.. I think I will choose someone else."
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  • bermovickbermovick Posts: 1,134Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Are you guys actually talking about a "suit" suit - as in one of those ensembles that'll cost a couple hundred dollars and get worn once or twice (and hopefully won't get food on it!)

    I'm a bit shocked (and even more worried) now!
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  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Posts: 658Member
    Coat/Jacket+Formal Shirt+Tie+Slacks+Nice Belt+Matching Socks+Nice Shoes

    Not Armani but professional at least, something you could wear to a family funeral if required without the black or a child's graduation.

    All men should have at least one suit just for such an occasion.
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  • gosh1976gosh1976 Posts: 441Member
    bermovick wrote: »
    Are you guys actually talking about a "suit" suit - as in one of those ensembles that'll cost a couple hundred dollars and get worn once or twice (and hopefully won't get food on it!)

    I'm a bit shocked (and even more worried) now!

    If you don't have a suit then I would go with dress slacks and a tie.

    I think I might have paid $200 for my suit along with a dress shirt. I found one on sale it looks fine, professional looking, but it's not going to get me into GQ. I usually wear a really nice blue dress shirt with it if I'm going to a wedding or interview so as to look less like I'm going to a funeral!
  • bermovickbermovick Posts: 1,134Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Haha yeah; no suit here. I might have a tie floating around here somewhere; I'll just have to re-learn how to tie it (google ftw!).

    I've a jacket I borrowed from my brother for an interview some time back, but the thing feels too big and really bulky so I don't really care for it.
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  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Posts: 658Member
    If the Jacket does not fit do not wear it. I see to many guys who go to Men's Warehouse get a suit for cheap and do not tailor it. An un-tailored suit looks horrible in my opinion. Stick to the slacks, dress shirt and tie then. Best of luck.
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  • themagiconethemagicone Posts: 674Member
    I think I just botched a interview yesterday because of clothes. Not sure what I was thinking but I went in to wearing jeans and a sweater. Now, the jeans were brand new and looked good, the sweater was a nice one. But I don't think that went over well. All I have for dress clothes is a few pair of dress slacks and few dress shirts from that Banks store. Actually they were my dads then he died so I got them.
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  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Posts: 1,860Member
    Mishra wrote: »
    Just wear a suit. No sane person is going to think

    "Oh my he has a suit.... Wow he is desperate.. I think I will choose someone else."


    haha, this cracks me up....

    i would wear a suit... and yes, every man should own at least one suit.. i got a suit at Target and got it tailored professionally and I get an absurd amount of compliments on it anytime I wear it... when I got it money was tight, but i get so many compliments on it, I still keep it in rotation...

    but yes, tailored suit is a must... and not to make this sound like a fashion show..... match your shoes and belt! i was told a very long time ago that's the first rule to dressing nice, and now anytime i see someone with a brown belt and black shoes, i think they look stupid
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  • crazychrono100crazychrono100 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    A nice fitting pair of slack and dress shirt. Just keep it neat and tight, as long as it doesn't look messy. I usually don't like suiting up for an interview because I don't want to dress better than my interviewer. Just my 2 cents.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    Beyond all the dressing a few other tips

    Don't salt your food without tasting it. Make sure to close your mouth when you chew. Napkin in lap and all that good stuff.
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  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    shodown wrote: »
    Beyond all the dressing a few other tips

    Don't salt your food without tasting it. Make sure to close your mouth when you chew. Napkin in lap and all that good stuff.

    Just remember table manners....Same applies at family occasions or when dining with friends. If you worry too much about all of that stuff you will make yourself nervous for no reason. Just turn up on time, relax, note down some good questions to ask and do research on the company as much as possible. The rest takes care of itself.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • CompuTron99CompuTron99 Posts: 542Member
    I say wear what you would normally wear to an interview.

    I think the advantage of going to Panera, is the menu. You can order something small (danish, bagel, bowl of soup) and not have to worry about finsihing off a whole meal.

    With the interview being "outside" of the workplace, it should relieve some stress. Sometimes a location at the office can be intimidating. Workers watching, waiting in a conference room alone until the interviewer arrives, getting lost on the way to the interview.

    good luck!
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    A nice fitting pair of slack and dress shirt. Just keep it neat and tight, as long as it doesn't look messy. I usually don't like suiting up for an interview because I don't want to dress better than my interviewer. Just my 2 cents.

    Whats the reasoning behind not wanting to dress nicer than your interviewer? I never really understood this. You are the one interviewing for a job so I don't see why it would be a big deal to be dressed nicer than the normal attire for the organization.

    The way I see it is a suit is always your safest bet. I'd much rather be over dressed than under dressed any day.
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  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Generally anything thats not messy. I typically order a pretty dry sandwich with no alot of sauces. Like someone mentioned earlier, the last thing you want to do is mess up your attire. You want something that you can eat on...but thats not the main purpose of the sit down. So keep it simple enough that you can concentrate on who you are there with, and what you need to be saying/doing.

    Check out the menu ahead of time and decide now. Then hesitate while you're "deciding" so he doesn't catch on that you knew exactly what you were ordering 3 days ahead of time.

    As far as attire, its a hard choice. I think you could get away with either, so do whatever you like. Pro's for suit is that this is the first meeting and first impressions mean a lot. Pro for just some nice pants and a dress shirt is that it fits the atmosphere of the place.

    I'd probably go suit, assuming that an E:VP could likely also be wearing a suit. You never want to be dressed worse than the person you are interviewing with.
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    Check out the menu ahead of time and decide now. Then hesitate while you're "deciding" so he doesn't catch on that you knew exactly what you were ordering 3 days ahead of time.

    Then why actually decide ahead of time if you are just going to pause and act like you are deciding on the spot?
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