My first job interview was for a long term substitute position as an English teacher. From my experiences, it is my duty as an individual is to be myself at all times. Of course, there have been times where my demeanor was altered because of my environment, but in general my thoughts and actions have been consistent to my core beliefs.
So, during this first job interview, there were a series of question asked about education, which were answered in a responsible manner, but then the last question was asked. The interviewer closed his notebook of questions, and asked, “Why are you not wearing a suit?” My response, “I didn’t think this was a position that required me to be in a suit.” This might not have been the best answer, but it was my honest opinion. The interviewer smiled, and then gave me a lecture about how important it was to make an impression on others. In my mind, the recollection of educators who made impression on me were the ones who related to me as person, not those who wore expensive suits. In reality, teaching in a suit would be difficult if one was really teaching and interacting with their students. So, needless to stay the job was not offered to me, even though the other 15 questions about education were answered to almost perfection, well from my point of view anyway.
My second job interview was with a correctional center. The organization hired me for a teaching job in a correctional center that would pay me around $23, 000 dollars, as well as have additional benefits. I didn’t wear a suit to this interview because in my eyes, once again, I wouldn’t be wearing a suit to the job. The first question asked was, “Why are you not wearing a suit?” My response, “I didn’t think this was a position that required me to be in a suit.” So, as you can see, the first experience was not one of learning. The interviewer smiled, and we continued with the interview.
Good or bad, this job was not taken by me because of the distance, as well as the fact that another job was offered by a closer school division making more money. Now, the question of the day is whether or not a suit was worn to the interview from the other school division. Honestly, memory fails me, but there is a recollection of my mother “fussing” at me for not wearing a suit. So, more than likely, a suit was worn.
At age 44, my goal is not to ever wear a suit again. Not because there is a belief that “first impressions” don’t make a difference, or that one should “dress to impress”, but more because my outlook on life has changed because of my journey. It doesn’t matter, people are going to judge others with or without a suit. So, for me, the idea of being myself will not change by wearing or not wearing a suit, but it will make me feel a little more comfortable in the interview without being in a suit.