Yup, I’m feeling a little cranky today.  This stupid cold is running its course and just when I think it’s past the worst part I wake up again hacking up crud.  Down with The Goo!  I’ve dodged my usual flu-in-January-for-a-week routine this year so I guess it was time for something even though it’s not helping my mood.  I thank the Universe that the follow up interview I had a couple of days ago was over the phone and not in person.  On Monday morning I could dig deep in the energy reserves, clean up, shake hands and put on a good face.  By that afternoon things were going downhill, and it was all I could do on Tuesday to give good phone without worrying about trying to look presentable with a cold. 

Hello, kleenex!

The Universe again is smiling and looking out for me as my next in-person interview is early next week, so the cold should be long gone by then right? Unclogged ears, no more red nose, no more chills and fever on and off – I’m ready! 

I find it extremely difficult to get feedback from interviews where I didn’t end up getting the job.  Most of the time there is nothing beyond “we decided to go with another candidate.”  So it’s up to me to re-evaluate how I did, review my notes and try to be even better prepared and poised next time.

But every once in awhile there are some good, meaty things to mull over:  the other candidate was more qualified due to xyz, you needed to be more technical in blahblahblah or be more articulate about how you handle abc or something like that.  I seemed a tad jittery?  Oh yeah I know what that was from – coffee!  I’ll avoid that last swig before getting dressed and out the door next time!  I am so glad I quit Diet Coke earlier this year but I’m still fine-tuning how much coffee I can have before it’s too much on the ol’ nerves.

I DON’T expect to hear feedback that I was “overdressed.”  Screechy record sound anyone??  Are you fucking kidding me?  Since when is wearing a tailored dress and plain black mid-heel pumps with no flashy jewelry and an understated black handbag and coat considered “overdressed?”  I don’t know whether to laugh or curse here, people.  And yeah I’m gonna go there and ask/wonder outloud…would the (male) hiring manager have said the same thing if he was interviewing a male candidate in a suit & tie???  I hate to play the sexist card here but I’m all kinds of confused and wonderingwonderingwondering.

So I’ve been asking around as now I’m curious…is it too old school to dress up for an interview even if you know the place is business casual (emphasis on casual to the point of jeans being OK 5 days a week)?  I love a business casual environment but I admit I also enjoy dressing up occasionally.  Frankly, it’s not an effort for me.  I love the dress I wore for that interview because I can get dressed in 2 minutes and it’s forgiving of a few extra pounds.

I’ve always thought you were supposed to crank it up a notch for the interviews and then go with the flow depending on the company dress code.  Don’t get me wrong – I can do casual just fine.  Hell, I’ve worked places where I had to constantly harp on my team members to wear shoes.

Maybe the guy did me a favor in relaying that feedback.  If it’s a liability in that particular company then OK, I can role play and tone it down.  I’ll have an opportunity at this same place early next week (different group). 

I can’t help but laugh at the memory of my first (and only) trip to NYC where I felt horribly out of place (underdressed) in a striped sweater, denim jacket and khakis in a sea of dark suits in midtown Manhattan.  See my “And then Dr. Ruth walked into the bar” post for more on that.  

Yes, the Great Northwest is far, far away from the dark-suited land of Manhattan.