Career Profiles: Dress

THE CRITICAL DECISION

Claire agonized over her decision of what to wear to the interview.  She spent hours online and in the department stores looking for the right outfit.   A candidate for a designer position in an apparel company would be evaluated on what she wore.  In addition, she knew she needed to wear the clothes of the apparel manufacturer where she was interviewing.  She consulted with two of her friends who were the same age and had excellent taste.  Together, they decided Claire shouldn’t wear designer clothes because it was too far above what Claire could afford or be expected to wear (the “Normalcy” test.)

The three women ultimately decided that something from the “bridge” line of the company would be appropriate.  The choice would show Claire’s appreciation of fine clothes and her good taste.  They also agreed that jewelry and makeup would be on the conservative side.

When Claire went to the interview, she felt confident.  It was only a few minutes before the interviewer made reference to the great outfit Claire had on.  Both knew she was wearing the manufacturer’s clothing line.

All of Claire’s stress over what to wear was rewarded a few weeks later when she was called into the head designer’s office.  She offered Claire the job, and during the conversation, she told Claire that she and one other candidate were the most highly qualified and very close in terms of background and skills.

The decision hinged, however, on the evaluation of dress as a representation of the skills that Claire would bring to the company.  “Your outfit was perfect for the interview and it won you the job,” the interviewer told her.

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