badstar: (Default)
[personal profile] badstar
Tell me, folks...just how "business casual" is an office when they make a point of advising you to wear the "nicest business suit that you own" for an interview?

And how likely am I to not get the job if I show up in say, black twill pants, a nice shirt and black flats? Because, y'know, I don't own a freakin' business suit, nevermind more than one to be able to pick "the nicest one".

Oh, but if you don't own one, just pick the most profesional-looking outfit that you own, it will be fine. *pat, pat*

*sigh*

But hey, I have an interview on Tuesday.

Wait...looking over the dress code that's been sent to me and I've been told that I should adhere to for the interview...what the fuck? Pants "must be able to hold a crease????

Um...my pants aren't gonna be creased. Is it okay that they're merely capable of holding one without actually having one? Or holy fuck, do I have to go out and buy a pair of pants for this interview so I can have a fucking crease? Looking over this...IF I get hired, I'm going to need a whole new wardrobe. Shoes must have a visible heel? I've got a pair of flats. I need to buy ANOTHER pair of shoes for this interview?

Fingernails must be cleaned and well-trimmed? My fingernails are clean but I guess this means that if I pass everything else, they will probably turn me down seeing as I'm a lifelong nail-biter.

I don't know what to do here about the clothing issue, but I'm NOT getting fake nails.

ETA: I'm really, seriously questioning if I should even go to this job interview. I posted asking about the place over on [livejournal.com profile] eugenecommunity and the one person who's commented so far led me to google a bit and found this: http://www.failingenterprise.com/forums/

So this is for an Enterprise Car Rentals call center.

The thing is...my unemployment runs out in February and on one hand...it could be a job, and I could look for something else. On the other hand...do I want to deal with a really unpleasant environment, people who are going to freak out at the exact fabric content of my pants, and what sounds like a whole lot of illegal practices for a job that pays me less than what I'm currently getting on unemployment?

ETA: If one more person tells me to make sure my fingernails are clean for the interview, there is going to be violence.

Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dance-shiva.livejournal.com
Well, interviews are different from jobs. Generally, they want to see your very best, and once you're hired the more lax standard applies.

They may also be wanting to see how well you follow directions. It may be worth your while to hit the second-had shop for a crease-ier pair of slacks. Just saying. It never *hurts* to have (what I like to call) a "business disguise". :)

Some areas have programs for clothing for people on hard times who are going on interviews.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Buying a pair of pants isn't really a big deal. In and of itself, it's worth it- and affording a single pair of pants and being willing to go and buy them wouldn't be that big a deal...if I thought I had a reasonable shot at getting the job.

I can't shop at second-hand stores. They never have anything in a good size for me that would actually look presentable at an interview, nevermind meet these people's standards, or that isn't made of really coarse polyester or something else equally nasty. This place is practically the thrift store capital of the universe and I've had zero luck so far. That's not saying that I won't try again, but will probably have to resort to buying something new if I'm going to go the "go out and buy something" route.

It makes me wonder if this is all worth it- this is the sort of environment that I've never wanted to work in, and wouldn't even be taking this interview if I didn't need the job. If I manage to get hired, I'm going to need to go out and buy more new clothing, including stuff I would never wear otherwise. I know that if this happens, I don't have to buy a full wardrobe, that a couple of pairs of pants and shirts and some shoes should do it, but if I can't find anything at thrift stores, I'm probably looking at a couple of hundred dollars there and this is different enough from my current wardrobe that I would have to lay it out all at once to be able to get through a week of work in compliance with the dress code. and if it happens that I eventually leave the company and never work in such an environment again, then I'll have spent money on a bunch of clothing that I wouldn't wear otherwise.

But...maybe I shouldn't worry too much about all that. A pair of shoes and a pair of pants isn't a big deal. I should probably be more worried about whether they're going to dismiss me out of hand based on my chewed fingernails.

Thanks for the suggestions, I really do appreciate it. I don't mean to be so whiny here, but I've long been irked by the fact that people assume you're incompetant because OMG, your pants don't have a crease or holy fuck, is that a pair of shoes with no visible heel? Clearly, you won't be able to handle the demands of our job. It depresses me.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mallyns.livejournal.com
I think by being able to hold a crease they are saying they want pants, not jeans or sweats or the popular yoga pants. For shoes, flats are fine, they usually have a slight heel, and they mean no sneakers or flip flops basically dress shoes.

Just trim your nails and have no ragged edges right before the interview and no dirt. Though you might want to look into stopping nail biting in general.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
I think by being able to hold a crease they are saying they want pants, not jeans or sweats or the popular yoga pants.

The exact wording: ""business slacks, docker-style khaki or dress corduroy, ankle length and able to hold a crease"

Just curious- does this still translate the same to you? Because this does not describe the one pair of pants that I have that I would wear. (They're black, a slightly stretchy twill. I'm sure they'd hold a crease if I ironed one into it, but they would look stupid with one- and I don't own an iron. As they are, they look perfectly fine and I don't see how anyone could say they're "unprofessional" and if it were just the question of the pants, I really wouldn't even be worried about them, but combined with other things, it just all seems like a big mess that could lead to a lot of points off.)

For shoes, flats are fine, they usually have a slight heel, and they mean no sneakers or flip flops basically dress shoes.

Yeah, mine don't have even the tiniest heel- the sole is completely flat, and they specify "visible" heel.

Just trim your nails and have no ragged edges right before the interview and no dirt.

My nails are clean, but I don't think you quite understand how short they are. There's nothing to trim. I can get a file around the rough edges, but that's about it.

Though you might want to look into stopping nail biting in general.

Would it were so easy. This is a thirty-year-old habit that is very closely-tied to stress and sometimes boredom. If it's boredom, I can generally distract myself away, but if it's stress...it's very difficult to deter, especially since I mostly do it in sudden moments of frustration and anger when I feel particularly unable to do anything else.

I stop biting my nails three or four times a year. I'm usually okay if I can keep nail polish on them, but that's not a guarantee- I won't bite them with polish, but I've picked them off on plenty of occasions. I've been a nail biter since I was about a year old. My grandparents used to ground me for biting them. My grandmother would try to deter me by smearing neosporin all over my fingers and then wrapping bandaids over that. It only ever succeeded in making my hands useless. Hell, it's only in the last maybe five years or so that I can go any stretch of time without biting them at all.

So yeah...maybe someday before I die,I'll be able to stop biting my nails altogether. Maybe.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mallyns.livejournal.com
Stretchy twill are not work pants (if that is the material I'm thinking of and wearing right now). Sorry looks like you need to get real linen pants(and/or all variation). Also you can put a crease by ironing but they basically are saying they want work clothing.

Looks like you need to get some new pants and shoes. Go for a kitten heel or even the tiny heel you can find on some flats. Make sure they are closed toe and nice and clean. No scuffs that kind of thing.

The nails I wouldn't worry about, just paint them with some clear polish and try not to bite them before or during the interview. They have stuff that is like nail paint but it taste like shit and that helps people stop biting their nails.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Stretchy twill are not work pants (if that is the material I'm thinking of and wearing right now).

It's a pair of pants that's pretty much like other pants that I've worn and have found to be completely acceptable in other places that I've worked- including one that had a bizarro-picky dress code that seemed to change from day to day on some points, depending on the mood of certain people. They would compliment you on an outfit one day, and the next week, send you home for wearing the exact same thing. And I'm not talking about borderline-questionable either.Needless to say, I didn't stay there very long.

They're just twill...with a little bit of give. If they were cut slightly differently, they would look like black khakis. As it is, they're slightly more formal-looking than that.

Personally, I don't understand how plain black pants could be deemed "not work clothing" just because they might have a tiny bit of stretch. Whose logic makes this shit up?

They have stuff that is like nail paint but it taste like shit and that helps people stop biting their nails.

Regular clear nail polish is sufficient to stop me from biting them...but not ripping them off. Bad tasting stuff would only discourage the biting.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mallyns.livejournal.com
It's not the stretchy but the type of material.

If I was there and could see the pants I could tell you if they are acceptable interview clothing. Remember interview clothing is different from work clothing, though they can be the same sometimes.

If they look like this: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.tedsclothiers.com/productimages/Twill%2520Flat%2520Front%2520Pant.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.tedsclothiers.com/products.cfm%3Fcategoryname%3D11&h=336&w=280&sz=27&tbnid=vAwXb5TTMjkMiM:&tbnh=119&tbnw=99&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtwill&zoom=1&q=twill&usg=__Ed2ltfxBt54DO7oN9du2Aq0TuAs=&sa=X&ei=qFGmTJ6xBIL58Ab-9KX9AQ&ved=0CDMQ9QEwBA

Then they are fine.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Once again, who comes up with this shit?

No already-existing creases, they're more narrow-cut in the leg, the material is a little more on the stiff-ish side.

But hey, who cares about pants anymore. If you take a look at my edit, there are plenty of other reasons a bitmore serious than the dress code that are maknig me question if I should even bother with the interview at all.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2010-10-01 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Some areas have programs for clothing for people on hard times who are going on interviews.

Oh, and thanks for this...I'll look into whether there's something like that in this area, though I'm not sure how they work and if there is something, if it would be able to help me between now and Tuesday afternoon, but if not this time, then maybe for next time.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2010-10-01 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
It says that pants must be "business slacks, docker-style khaki or dress corduroy, ankle length and able to hold a crease"- if it were just no denim, I would be fine.

I could look into the jacket thing. I can't remember the last time I even saw a business-ish jacket that wasn't sold as part of a whole suit but I could look into that. Um...where would I look? Hmm...there's a JC Penny over at the mall, I guess I would check there.

As for the heel thing- I really don't think it means high heels, just that there's some definition between the heel and the rest of the foot- I know that a lot of otherwise flat shoes have a tiny "heel" of around a quarter of an inch. I can see that being enforceable, especially if they make exceptions when disability or medical concern necessitates.

Gah....thanks. :-)

Date: 2010-10-01 08:51 pm (UTC)
blaisepascal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blaisepascal
If it had just said that the pants must be able to hold a crease, I would be tempted (not enough to go through with it, but tempted nonetheless) to get a pair of jeans, a good, hot iron, and as much starch as I could stand and go in wearing a pair of sharply-creased jeans.

Of course, my first reaction to your entry was to feel that a final requirement should be "Fuego must run away, screaming." Whether or not I'd agree to an interview under those conditions depends heavily on how desperate I was for a job.

Date: 2010-10-01 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Of course, my first reaction to your entry was to feel that a final requirement should be "Fuego must run away, screaming."

Yeah, really.

Whether or not I'd agree to an interview under those conditions depends heavily on how desperate I was for a job.

Erg...you know, if I hadn't already been unemployed for over a year, I'd probably be looking at this and going "Um, yeah...pass, thanks."
But it was a year in August, and my unemployment runs out in February and this place is not a good one for finding jobs (though it's been good for finding interviews at least.)

The thing that really gets me is that I'm stressing out this much over a job before I've even gone to the place for a blasted interview...and if they do deem me worthy of hiring, hey're going to pay me less than unemployment is paying me now.

On top of that all, I posted to the LJ community for this city to see if anyone there worked there and could shed some light, and so far I've gotten one comment from someone who said that they heard they were super-picky and that they had been warned away from the place for other reasons (waiting to hear what those reasons are...I'm scared.)

Date: 2010-10-01 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
If it had just said that the pants must be able to hold a crease, I would be tempted (not enough to go through with it, but tempted nonetheless) to get a pair of jeans, a good, hot iron, and as much starch as I could stand and go in wearing a pair of sharply-creased jeans

Ha! Awesome.

Date: 2010-10-01 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternalhearts.livejournal.com
This place does sound really high-maintenance...hopefully it's only in words, not practice.

I'm not sure about Penny's, but I know for a fact that Kohl's has some jackets that would work. Now that the Fall is here, more places are selling blazers though, so I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find one.

Date: 2010-10-01 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Heh..never mind the clothing, I've found far more serious reasons to seriously question if I should even go to the interview (I edited a bit into the ed of the post.)

There's a Kohl's over in Springfiled...a pretty reasonable bus ride. But I can walk to JC Penny's, so IF I decide to even go, I'll probably try there first.

Date: 2010-10-01 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternalhearts.livejournal.com
So I just saw...man, tough decision, but I'd be seriously considering the interview as well.

Date: 2010-10-01 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
I just don't know if I could handle some of the shit I'm reading about. A seriously non-ethical side-contract at my last job almost broke me- and that was a (supposedly) side assignment on a job that I otherwise loved. I *really* don't know i I could handle it as the entirely of the job itself.

But I need a job...

Date: 2010-10-02 03:39 am (UTC)
ext_2996: Modern Parvati, Dancing with extended fingernails (Default)
From: [identity profile] fallenkalina.livejournal.com
Is this for the management program or a customer service position. My brother (the high faluting CAT finance guy) says the management program isn't bad -- he had classmates go into it and be fine.

But when I was scouted for them? I RAN THE FUCK AWAY.

Go for the interview at least. It'll be good practice.

Date: 2010-10-02 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
It's for customer service. The company has at least two class-action lawsuit against them for things like making people work off of the clock, and one of them is specifically suing the office here that I would be working at if hired. If even a tenth of the things that i've read are true, I'm scared.

I will *probably* go to the interview, but I haven't decided yet, because I don't know what I would do if I were offered a job. I need one, but I can't deal with an environment like that. I wouldn't be so concerned about going on the interview just for the practice, except with unemployment, if you go to an interview and it results in a job offer, it's possible to have your unemployment taken away if you don't accept the job (there are acceptable grounds for turning down a job offer- I know, for example, that being offered a job that doesn't pay enough for you to live on is an acceptable reason- or I know that it was the first time I was on unemployment back in 206. That may very well have changed by now. The big question is...is shit like this acceptable grounds? don't see where it wouldn't be, but who knows. So I am sorta afraid of going to the interview and being offered the job.)

The other thing is that one of the big thigns that I keep reading is that they do everything they can to fire people- for example, with regards to the making people work off the clock, they seem to have "revised" policies for keeping that from happening...but if you go by those revised policies, then it can reduce your productivity, and you can get fired for that, or if you're on a call that takes you over your lunch break, and then you take your break, you are in violation of schedule adherence and they ca fire you for that. So...not only am I worried about what could happen if I don't accept the job, I'm worried about what could happen if I accept the job but get burned by their uh, questionable, policies. So I also need to talk to the Oregon unemployment about what would happen if I were to be employed there for a while and somethign happens that I need to file a new claim in-state....uhg, it's a rather massive clusterfuck.

It makes my brain bleed.

Date: 2010-10-02 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isa-bel-la.livejournal.com
Good luck with your job interview! I am sure you will do well. :)

Also, a "tip" on the "nail thingy," just don't show off dirt, painted nails (visible, but clear nail polish works, if you paint your nails); trimmed is so that, when ever you shake that person's hand, your nail will not scratch into their long sleeved shirt and/or scratch their hand (can you imagine to those that it happens to?). So I believe you will be fine if you are a nail biter, just don't show jagged nails (that can scrape) or open sores (like as in, biting off a hang-nail in the process and it causes your finger to bleed slightly), and you should be good. ;)

You will do great!
May it be less stressful, relaxing, and may you walk away feeling better about the day! :)

Date: 2010-10-02 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
Do fine? Really, I think at this point, the best thing that could happen is that they could suddenly change their mind and tell me to forget it so that I don't have to go out and buy half a new wardrobe just to show up for the interview and I don't have to worry about what to do if offered the job, because I've since found a whole lot of information that makes me REALLY not want to work there.

Right now I'm stressing out about the fact that I've accepted a job interview with a company that I've since found out has multiple lawsuits against it for forcing people to work off the clock and other such shit, not to mention a pile of complaints so long that the mere possibility of only ten percent of what I've seen being true scares me. Not to mention the fact that if offered a job, and I decide to refuse, there is a possibility that it could cause me to lose my unemployment. Vague, but distinctly real.

So...the fingernail thing? It's kinda been pushed down on my list of priorities. And I've already said...my nails are too short to scratch anything. And I know not to show up to an interview with dirty fingernails. Why are people feeling the great need to tell me this today as if I don't have the sense the gods gave a ham sandwich and can't figure it out for myself, nevermind that I passed my first job interview almost sixteen years ago and have managed to be gainfully employed for a fairly significant chunk of the time since then?

Date: 2010-10-02 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isa-bel-la.livejournal.com
That seems harsh, what they are trying to put you through... And, I don't know too much about "unemployment" or "creased pants" (that's probably why I'm a woman? I'm still trying to figure out how to fold a tie, which I find-for myself-terrible, because of how many men I'm around...)?

All I know is that, confidence if you wish to get this position at the job and "there is always an exit when needed to be, but to dread on "tip-toes" or else you may get caught on an escape"...

That's as far as what I know of at the moment, so that was as far as what I could point-out.
I am really curious though...what is a crease in Trousers exactly? (I know what the "trousers" are, but I have no idea where the "crease" came from??)

Date: 2010-10-02 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chironcentaur.livejournal.com
If one more person tells me to make sure my fingernails are clean for the interview, there is going to be violence.

Oooh, come on and violence me, baby. And make sure to clean your fingernails when you're done, having blood and little bits of flesh crammed under there would like, so totally not make a good impression. :-P~~~~~

Date: 2010-10-02 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tecie.livejournal.com
I think you should take the interview for a few reasons:
1) There's a very high likelihood that the dress code wasn't even written locally. It sounds like it came from a committee meeting.
2) Having some recent experience on your resume is better than having none at all.
3) This may help you build some contacts, as outgoing coworkers can give you a heads up as to opportunities.
4) If the company is under public investigation (like one of my employers,) they are highly likely to be very cautious about their requests in terms of things like unpaid overtime, etc. Simply keep a log and don't give in on it. Even once. Be the model employee otherwise.
5) The nice thing about dressing business casual is that you eventually stop having to think about what you're wearing at all. You have your business clothes and your normal clothes. This could be useful for getting funds to look good for future interviews.

Date: 2010-10-02 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuego.livejournal.com
1) There's a very high likelihood that the dress code wasn't even written locally. It sounds like it came from a committee meeting.

Probably did. Doesn't mean that they're not insane about it. Last time I worked in a place with a "business casual" dress code that was handed down from on high, they were psychotic about it. I mentioned above previously working for a place where you could wear an outfit one day that was perfectly within the code, and hey you'd get compliments on how nice you look, but the exact same thing a week later could get you sent home because...I don't know, you were wearing someone's least favorite color that day? And they would actually do things like if they couldn't see that you were wearing socks because your pants came down over your shoes, they would demand that you pull up your cuffs for a sock inspection- they would actually do this as part of a morning routine and if someone wasn't wearing acceptable hosiery (the dress code only said "socks or pantyhose, nothing more specific than that but all kinds of random details could suddenly be found unacceptable), then you would be sent home.

2) Having some recent experience on your resume is better than having none at all.

This is pretty much the only reason I can think of as a "pro" for taking the job if offered. Oh, that and I could walk there. The list of cons is stacking up pretty steep.

3) This may help you build some contacts, as outgoing coworkers can give you a heads up as to opportunities.
Maybe. Yeah, I guess.

4) If the company is under public investigation (like one of my employers,) they are highly likely to be very cautious about their requests in terms of things like unpaid overtime, etc.

This isn't what I'm reading at all. What I've been reading is that they rearrange procedures a bit, and tell you that you can follow the proceedure that doesn't get you working off the clock...but that it results in you being "out of compliance" with productivity and that that gets you fired. Not only is the company being sued, but the office that I'm working with has its own class-action lawsuit against it for this and other reasons.

5) The nice thing about dressing business casual is that you eventually stop having to think about what you're wearing at all. You have your business clothes and your normal clothes. This could be useful for getting funds to look good for future interviews.

Really, I'd prefer to have a job where my work clothes are my normal clothes. I like my last office and their "We're more interested in you doing your job well than policing your choices in aesthetics as to covering your bare ass so just do us a favor and don't wear anything explicit, obscene or offensive" policy. I want to be comfortable in my clothing and look the way I want to look, not like some phony wearing my skin. I've got a couple of pairs of pants, several shirts and shoes that have- until now- been perfectly good for other interviews.

Date: 2010-10-02 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beckyjen.livejournal.com
I think any interview experience is helpful experience. I think the request for a heel is probably just to avoid those slip on shoes that sell incredibly cheap right now (but basically barely cover the foot). I have done a lot of interviewing both to fill a position at my current job and also interviewed myself recently for my new job and I think it is worth it to put a little more effort into the appearance and to follow their instructions. I think that image for a customer service position is probably key to them because when someone looks more professional they also carry themselves in a more professional manner and sound more professional even on the phone.

Date: 2010-10-03 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dance-shiva.livejournal.com
Out-of-the-box reasons for taking the interview:

Going on an interview for a job you have decided you don't want can be a DAMN lot of fun. It's like being on a blind date ten minutes after you've decided that you're really not interested in the person in the long-term...you can say pretty much anything and ask pretty much anything that you think will make for an interesting story later. It can be so freeing.

If you truly hit "fuck it" mode, I say go nuts. It might make you feel better. Get an iron and a can of spray starch and put an obvious crease in a pair of jeans, cop an attitude, and get the hell in there! Hell, ask them about that law suit they're facing for being a pack of fucking douche-tards...

About the fingernails:
1. I am an ardent masochist, and you are cute. Do your worst.
2. I am a dedicated nail biter myself. One of the things that helps me control myself when its really important is carrying one of those little satiny buffing files around and buffing them as a nervous action instead of biting them. I do not do this all the time, just when I know I'm going to need good nails in a few days.

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