/ What to wear to an interview in an outdoors shop?

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Haighy - on 23 Oct 2012
I have an interview for a retail assistant role in a North Face shop this week and am struggling in deciding what would be appropriate to wear. I am aware that too casual will send the wrong message but I am not sure how formal to go. Any ideas?

Cheers.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Mankini?
victim of mathematics - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Phone them and ask?
Ava Adore - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Avoid jeans.
Avoid suit, tie, jacket.
Look tidy.
And clean.
nniff - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Clean and well-presented should do it. Tired outdoor gear - no. Suit and tie - no. They all seem to wear 'indoors outdoor gear', if you know what I mean, and polo shirts
ripper - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: how about visiting the shop a few times and looking at what other retail assistants wear, then going just slightly smarter - don't hold me to this, but for something at that level I would have thought smartish, newish and crucially clean outdoorsy clothing (preferably TNF, obviously) would be appropriate. I doubt they'd expect a suit and tie, but am not speaking from any inside knowledge...
mountainmadness on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

TNF appears to be the current High Street brand of choice.
Bartooon - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: I agree - smart outdoorsy clothing. Maybe not Montane-style khaki & black trousers but a decent pair of NF ones together with a shirt or microfleece should go down well.

Good luck!
3leggeddog on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Wear a suit, it shows that you are willing to wear whatever is required. The shop will know that you are willing to wear outdoor gear from your interests stated on your application form.
Wulfrunian - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to 3leggeddog:

Agree. You will never be marked down for wearing a suit. Leave the smart outdoor gear until you get the job.
Cameron94 on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: I wore smart shoes, black suit type trousers with a shirt and tie. I got the job and they said afterwards that they were impressed with what I had worn for the interview and that people hadn't been given it because they were too casual. Better to be to formal than to casual imo, you can always roll the sleeves up and take the tie off if you think they would prefer that.
Cameron94 on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Btw my interview wasn't for TNF.
Neil Williams - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Wulfrunian:

Agree, unless you're going for an interview at a very blue-sky-thinking IT place, you won't offend anyone by being overdressed.

Neil
wilkie14c - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: muscle vest, yella ron hills and x-cubes. Let em know you are serious. I expect a discount if this ploy works.
Dauphin - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

A gentleman is never overdressed.

D
itsThere on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: jeans and a t-shirt, was told it was a casual interview
s.scott - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Its an interview for a job so go formal. Shirt&tie with trousers would be appropriate. Possibly a jacket if it fits well.

You can't really be over dressed, but you can definitely be under dressed.
mattrm - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Always wear a suit to an interview. Always. No exceptions.
Tom Last - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to Haighy)
>
> Always wear a suit to an interview. Always. No exceptions.

Another vote for a suit. If the next applicant comes in wearing one, when you haven't you'll look lazy.
Haighy - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Thanks for the advice. Think I will go for the suit then.
Doghouse - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to Haighy)
>
> Always wear a suit to an interview. Always. No exceptions.

Agreed.
FiendishMcButton on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Tarzan outfit :) or just wear yer leopard skin pants under yer suit for luck.
Camm on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:
Suit always, even for a telephone interview. But for a retail job, something like shoes, trousers, shirt and a smart jumper/jacket will do fine I reckon.
Alan M - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Go smart/going out casual (at a push office)

I'd go for trousers and shirt (either suit trousers for that more formal look or smart going out trousers for that smart look). If the shirt is a fitted type then dont wear the tie but do open the top button. If the shirt is a big baggey and square looking put the tie on.

If you dont want to wear a tie maybe think smart jumper over the shirt. Or a smart well fitting polo t-shirt.

To be honest if the clothes fit well its easier to look smart.
ml706 - on 23 Oct 2012
I had a job interview at Blacks a few years ago and wore smart shoes, black trousers and a shirt and smart jumper.

My appearance was commented on (positively!) and I did get the job.
Tony Naylor on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:
Feather boa, sequined underpants, big smile. Tell them you'll simply DIE if you don't get the job. Blow the manager a kiss. (If they offer you the job, you may want to consider your options).
Chris Ridgers - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to 3leggeddog:
> (In reply to Haighy) Wear a suit, it shows that you are willing to wear whatever is required. The shop will know that you are willing to wear outdoor gear from your interests stated on your application form.

I totally agree. Itís better to go over dressed then under dressed! I went for a job interview 2 weeks ago for a tree surgery company, my interviewer was wearing his tree cutting gear and I turned up in a suit (I was given some bad advice). They didnít mark me down for it and was given the job :)

Turdus torquatus on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

What about a safari suit as a middle way? It's smart but it also shows an interest in the outdoors. As with climbing shoes, you probably need to go a size or two smaller than you would normally wear.
andy - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Turdus torquatus: daktari!!!
angry pirate - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:
Another +1 for a suit.
I worked in outdoor retail for eight years and rocked up to my interview in a suit. It was commented on positively at the time and I got the job.
In every round of interviews we had for new folk afterwards, what they chose to wear was always a factor in the decision making process, i.e people who made an effort to smarten up were seen as more serious about their intent.
ale1 - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to angry pirate:
Another vote for the suit,
Have worked in outdoor retail for 5 years now, I turned up for the interview in a suit and got really positve comments, you can never be overdressed.
birdie num num - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:
I normally go in full winter gear with oxygen. I never go in through the door, it's always best to dry tool up to the managers office and set up an equalised belay off his chair leg and filing cabinet. First impressions count. You need to stick out from the other candidates.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

A morning coat (the morning cut of tailcoat), now always single breasted with one button (or very rarely two) and with peaked lapels
A waistcoat, at formal events this is black and matches the material of the coat.
A pair of formal striped or checked trousers worn with braces
a shirt; either a turndown collar is worn (white detachable, fastened by collar studs; or attached) with a tie, in which case the shirt has double cuffs, otherwise, a high detachable wing collar is worn with a single-cuffed shirt; this combination is always accompanied now by a formal Ascot, as opposed to a day cravat which is different. This is a more formal option most commonly seen at TNF interviews.
A plain or patterned silk handkerchief or pocket square may be worn; it is folded and inserted into the front breast pocket of the morning coat.
Black Oxford shoes or dress boots, or boots with a horse riding connection, such as George or Chelsea boot, or galosh-top dress boots; worn with plain dark socks (or another colour if they can't be seen). On no account walking boots.

Good luck.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Doghouse:
> (In reply to mattrm)
> [...]
>
> Agreed.

Agreed twice.

A wise man once said that you can at least take off a tie and jacket if appropriate but if you dont have them in the first place, you cant put them on.

EeeByGum - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: What do the staff wear? That could be a good benchmark?
Adam Hughes - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: I've just got a job for tnf and wore trousers and shirt, staff wear tshirts and hoodies, and that wouldn't be recommended.
obi-wan nick b - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to EeeByGum: I disagree that's the 'uniform' for day to day if you get the job - this is an interview.
fxceltic on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Wulfrunian:
> (In reply to 3leggeddog)
>
> Agree. You will never be marked down for wearing a suit. Leave the smart outdoor gear until you get the job.

not so, many companies I deal with would not hire you if you turn up in a suit
fxceltic on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to fxceltic: btw Im not saying that this would be the case with TNF.

I would go into the store and ask each member of staff what they wore to their own interview.

since they got the job what they did is most relevant.
Trangia - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

If in doubt, suit. You are never wrong in a suit, unless they indicate otherwise.

When I went for an interview with Go Ape they actually told me no formal suit but casual outdoor clothes when they made the appointment, so ring them and ask. The fact that you cared enough to inquire should score you a Brownie point.
ads.ukclimbing.com
fxceltic on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to fxceltic) btw Im not saying that this would be the case with TNF.
>
> I would go into the store and ask each member of staff what they wore to their own interview.
>
> since they got the job what they did is most relevant.

we work with a good number of retailers on head office staff, those that deal in clothes often really like it if you turn up in their own label stuff, and hate it if you wear competitor clothing.
They also love it if you have been into the store and asked good questions of the staff to see what its like to work there, what are the challenges etc and then tell the interviewer that you have done just that.
Shows you are intelligent, interested and proactive.
Hat Dude on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy:

Don't wear anything you've shoplifted from them;-)
Alex Slipchuk on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: if you have a bike then cycle to interview wearing bike gear, then when you arrive early, ask to use bathroom, then change into smart outdoor style trousers, and something with a collar. You'll tick all boxes. Smell and look clean.
EeeByGum - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to obi-wan nick b:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) I disagree that's the 'uniform' for day to day if you get the job - this is an interview.

I am with you. Perhaps ringing up is the best option?
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: I have never been interviewed outdoors but I would think that you might want to wear something warm at this time of year.

James
TheDrunkenBakers - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to fxceltic) btw Im not saying that this would be the case with TNF.
>
> I would go into the store and ask each member of staff what they wore to their own interview.
>
> since they got the job what they did is most relevant.

Good advise, and perhaps even better, go into the shop and speak to the sales staff. This way, you can see if you like the environment and people and they see get to know you a little. They might pass on a "so and so came in earlier and asked this and that and he sounded like a nice chap - he'd fit in well" kind of comment to the manager.

Mike Stretford - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Shirt, tie and trousers at least. Maybe with an outdoor jacket. Suit won't do any harm if you have one.

Don't ring up about it.
Trangia - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Haighy)
>
> Don't ring up about it.

The poor OP is getting conflicting advice here. Can you qualify that advice? It conflicts with mine, but I did give a reason.

Adam Hughes - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Haighy: Here's some advice for the interview, my question were:

What good/bad service have you had at a shop?
Pretty basic answer.

What do you see a good shop?
Somewhere with a good range of product,
Good value for money- this doesn't mean cheap gear! It's means a good service helping you select the right product so you use the product, giving you good value for money etc.
A good shop will have good services too.

When have you given good service to customer?

When have you been unable to help a customer?

The manager asked me to compare to pairs of socks.

The manager brought a soft shell jacket and asked me to sell it to him,
I don't think he was looking at how I sold it but looking to see if I could identify what it was good for, when you wouldn't really wear it and the features of the jacket.

What customer does this store attract?
This store was in London, so wide range of customers often after a product that isn't technical, would you happy with that?
They do sell technical products would you happy with selling those?
What is your weakness, I openly answered that ski/snowboard gear as I don't have a clue when it come to that market area! So be truthful as they will soon help you if you get the job.

Hope this info helps, any questions just ask,

As for the tnf- is it a tnf store or is it attached to Ellis brigham there are both I work for an Ellis brigham north face store,
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Adam Hughes: If it's the Westfield Stratford store, I was there yesterday and the chap that served me was very helpful. If that was you...thx ;-)
Mike Stretford - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Papillon)
> [...]
>
> The poor OP is getting conflicting advice here. Can you qualify that advice? It conflicts with mine, but I did give a reason.

I can and will. If someone rang me and asked what they should wear for an interview I would decide not to give them the job there and then. It shows a lack of gumption, a willingness to myther over something they should be able to work out themselves.
GridNorth - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to Papillon: Spot on.

James
Jim C - on 24 Oct 2012
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to Haighy)
>
> Always wear a suit to an interview. Always. No exceptions.

NO exceptions !
What if it is an Australian company with a laid back Australian management, they might think you are not the 'right type' for them so I'm not so sure about 'always' but generally I agree.

Of course he could go in to the shop and chat to some of the existing staff, ask what THEY did at their's, and if they got any feedback.


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