I have applied to a machine shop looking for apprentices. This week I
will have in interview and was wondering the typical attire for this
type of interview. I've always been taught to dress neatly in the
typical attire of the employees working there. Shop attire there is
typically jeans and a t-shirt.
I have no time to purchase any clothing due to my schedule. Would
wearing a pair of work pants and a dark t-shirt be okay? That would be
typical attire of the employees there. The only other option I have is
a 3-piece suit, which I believe would be out of the question for this
type of job.
Sorry if this seems like a stupid question.
I would suggest slacks and a good shirt. Jeans and t-shirt are not
acceptable. If you've only got a 3 piece suit then wear the pants and
shirt. Show them you'll go out of the way to be just a bit better than they
expect. I've interviewed candidates where clothes have made a difference.
I would assume, as an interviewer, that if you didn't care for you looks
then you probably wouldn't care how the parts you made look either.
no neat sig line
Wear the slacks from your suit along with the tie. I haven't seen anyone
wearing a three piece suit in about 15 years.
When I was in your position I always wore a tie and more often than not
was offered the job. You only get one chance to make a first and lasting
impression. If they get 20 or so applicants that they interview, what are
you going to do to stand out? If nothing else taking the time to dress up
and look your best will show that you are serious.
Will you feel out of place? No doubt. The prospective employer will
almost always comment on the way you're dressed. Often along the lines of
"you're not dressed for working in a machine shop. Are you sure this is
what you want to do?" The best response is "If you want me to start
today, I'll run home and change." "I just figured if you were going to
give me some of your time, I would show you that I respect that." Sounds
corny but it works.
When applying for an apprentice job make sure to ask questions about what
they do and how they do it. Avoid questions along the lines of "What's in
it for me?" Apprentice jobs rarely if ever have negotiable wages and/or
bennies. You also want the employer to know that you have mechanical
ability. If you know how to read a micrometer, have some experience, etc.
make sure they know that as well.
For this type of opening an employer will often ask what your habbies
are. Fixing cars, woodworking, etc. are always good. But don't lie. You
never know if the guy is a gearhead or a woodworker himself. Another
question is what do you want to be doing in ten years? Have an answer
ready. "Right now I plan on being the best journeyman in your shop" is a
pretty good answer. I answered "Your job" once and was offered the job.
The guy laughed and said, "Well at least your honest." I wouldn't use
that as a pat answer but it felt right at the time.
Anyway, good luck and I hope you get it.
Good advice. I'd bring the change of clothes. Leave it in the car, or bring
the rucksack if you're hoofing it.
Too pat, too corny for my taste. "Shucks darn, you betcha. I even warshed
behind the ears this morning." Or better: "My Daddy taught me to show the
proper respect. I brung me some proper work clothes, right chere, just in
case." Always think, plan, and stay one step ahead. Not just in the
interview, but all through life. It's easy if you're serious about your
work. There's no way to fake it if you're not.
I would suggest the shirt and pants from your suit. I would NOT wear a tie
nor would I wear a suit jacket.
If you have a shop apron, I would suggest bringing it (but not wearing it).
If they want you perform an operation on a machine (which is highly
unlikely), you can put it on.
Be sure to take it easy. If you're desperate for a job, they'll smell it
and you won't get it.
Best of luck.
Slacks of some sort and maybe a nice polo style shirt. I'd go with
the cheapy WallyWorld versions. Throw a pair of overalls/coveralls in
your bag or car in case you're asked to demonstrate your skills.
"mr electron" wrote: (clip) I have no time to purchase any clothing due to
my schedule. (clip)
Do you live in an area where no stores are open evenings? I would MAKE the
time if it matters to you. For an interview, I think you should look a
little neater and dressier than the guys working at the machines. Your suit
with a tie might look a little pretentious, so I would settle for an shirt
with an open collar, worn with your suit pants, and some kind of a light
jacket, sport coat or windbreaker. (I'm a slob, but I know when not to look
During one interview, I was told, "You will get your hands dirty." My
answer must have been OK, 'cause I got the job. I said, "Good." Hope YOU
get the job.
It's a good question.
Neat, clean and understated is far better than "fine raiment".
I'd be more favorably disposed to an apprentice applicant in a clean
pressed cotton or chambray shirt and pressed (yes, pressed) Levi's
or work pants than one in a hotshot suit. If the shirt has pockets
with flaps, button them. He isn't looking for a salesman, but one
who is capable of precision and attention to small details.
I'd recommend wearing a real shirt, not just a tee shirt. You can
shed the shirt if you're asked to demonstrate your skills, but wear
a real shirt for your office visit.
Get a haircut. It needn't and shouldn't be a $40 "do", just a neat,
clean haircut. If you have a beard or moustache, groom it or have
it groomed as in trimmed neatly. Again, attention to details.
(Don't ask how many ways I spelled "moustache" before I got it right.)
If you wear leather shoes, shine them. If you wear workboots, clean
them up and treat them with mink oil or whatever you use so they look
well-maintained. Don't wear Nikes.
You should look as meticulous and functional as the work he wants
done. Skip the aftershave and cologne. If you have any odor at all
it should be eau d'Tapmatic or perhaps a hint of Hoppe's #9.
If I sound "military", it's no accident. "Military" suggests
discipline, particularly to a veteran, and precision metalworking is
definitely a discipline.
Don't ever think you can bullshit an interviewer other than HR pukes
who thrive on bullshit -- but you'll not be dealing with them, I hope.
Experienced managers and foremen have very good bullshit detectors.
They have to. If you don't know the answer to a question, the best
response is "I don't know but I can find out." Be prepared to say
how you'd find out, because that'll be the next question. I always
asked at least one job-relevant question I was pretty sure the
applicant couldn't answer, just to see what he/she would do with it.
If I got a smoke 'n feathers bullshit dance, that was a reject even
if they looked good up until then. I was pinging for integrity.
Answer every question fully and honestly, then shut up and sit still,
look pleasant -- but shut up. Be able to be quiet, let the
interviewer lead. That was another test I used. He or she who can't
be still when they have no material contribution to offer would not
be a good member of my small team.
Expect ambiguous questions. If you don't understand a question, make
it clear what you didn't understand about the question before you
respond. That's another test. A machinist must understand what is
ezpected to get it right. The print should convey that, but
prints don't always convey all relevant details e.g. schedule or what
machines and materials are immediately available for the job.
After he or she is done, it doesn't hurt a bit to ask a polite
intelligent question or two yourself to subtly establish that the
interview is a mating dance that cuts both ways. It can subtly
confirm your presence as competent applicant rather than supplicant.
That can be very effective. It isn't bullshit, just good psychology.
It has always worked well for me. It cost me a couple of jobs that
wouldn't have fit me well, and I'm convinced it got me better offers
for the jobs that did fit. Both were good outcomes.
As a fellow who hires 25 part time employees a year, I'd tell you to read
this advise three times. Its spot on.
I continue to be amazed at people who show up for jub interviews with dirty
clothing, too many body rings, smelling of last night's alcohol, and only
interested in what it pays and do I have to work every day.
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 01:44:05 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Don
Grok that and concur.
Your're a truly sick and twisted man, Don Foreman.
Ironing Levis, indeed! ;)
I survived the D.C. Blizzard of 2003 (from Oregon)
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
| After he or she is done, it doesn't hurt a bit to ask a polite
| intelligent question or two yourself to subtly establish that the
| interview is a mating dance that cuts both ways. It can subtly
| confirm your presence as competent applicant rather than supplicant.
| That can be very effective. It isn't bullshit, just good psychology.
| It has always worked well for me. It cost me a couple of jobs that
| wouldn't have fit me well, and I'm convinced it got me better offers
| for the jobs that did fit. Both were good outcomes.
Ditto on all previous commentary. I want to add a _very_ important
point that most job seekers miss severely.
You are looking for a good employer, and the employer is looking for a
good employee. Inasmuch as the employer is marketing his pay, working
conditions, and benefits in exchange for skills, you are marketing your
skills in exchange for benefits, pay, and working conditions that will
satisfy you. In a nutshell that means that don't think that you need a job
as much as the job needs you. It tends to relax your attitude during the
interview, which helps you not be so nervous or "needy." Any hiring
managers will concur, and if not, 'fess up now!
At the interview, I really hope you will have researched the company
thoroughly. You can find a lot in public records of business licenses,
who's who in the business, and so forth. One job I enjoyed (at first
anyway...) I think I blew the owner and service manager away because they
spent more time answering questions than asking, including a couple they
couldn't answer but "would get back to me." At my most recent job
interview, I sensed that the job would have been way too much fun, and since
everyone had such good things to say about working there I had to ask: "What
about this job sucks?" To my surprise, the supervisor stammered a bit in
trying to answer, then admitted he couldn't answer it properly, so he called
in a few others and left the room. I was really impressed with that and
that the employees were really up front with me, finally owning up a certain
bit of office politics. I later found out that the only reason I didn't get
the job was that a known quantity employee returned, and since I didn't have
the needed security clearance, it couldn't be me, but I impressed him at any
rate. Had this other fellow not come back, I am convinced I'd have one of
the coolest jobs in the world, in one of the coolest places to work in the
world, with the coolest toys money can buy (wish I could explain in more
depth, but it was military research and stuff.) The only thing that
wouldn't have been cool would have been the commute, but I think I could
offset that by actually _wanting_ to go to work.
With regards to "Level" of attire (suite and tie or t-shirt), dress one
notch better than the highest person you are *likely* to see but not so
much better tht it appears you think you are better then them. Dressing
below the interviewer is often percieved as not taking the interview
seriously and dressing much above is often percieved as thinking you
are "better" than them. Sometimes it's a hard razor blade to walk but
you can rarely go wrong if you shoot for the "one notch" better level.
FYI, the "one notch better" is because interviewers usually think they
are dressed better than they actually are :)
CLEAN AND NEAT IS EVERYTHING. This includes personal grooming such as
well washed hair, clean shaven, and clean/neat fingernails. Clean and
neat also applies to verbage and speech. Speak clearly and avoid bad
grammer and slang unless it really fits. Anyone who says "he axed
me...." around here is out he door unless they are speaking of a
personal assault with an axe. people often get into lazy speech habits
like "gunna", "wanna", "goin", and similar which are best to avoid.
Nothing wrong with them in casual conversation but they might make the
difference if the interview is "close".
Make sure you have a good pen with you also. Simply having to ask to
borrow a pen can be the death of an interview...it instantly makes you
Some interview tips.
Show up on time.
Dress cleanly and shave. Attire depends on the kind of job, for a
machine shop type of job I would just wear jeans and a shirt, but I
would make sure that they are freshly washed.
An easy way to go through an interview is to get the interviewer to
talk about himself or what he or she does, and then listen attentively
using "active listening" techniques. People love to talk about
themselves and, when there is someone who seems to listen, then start
feeling (with no basis in reality) that the other party is an
intelligent, pleasant person. Whereas all you have to say is stuff
like "this is interesting", "could you tell me the reason for that
It helps to remember what the interviewer actually says and then bring
it up at a relevant moment later in the conversation.
That's what Dale Karnegie recommends and I must say that it works
almost every time.
It will not get an unqualified person hired, but it does help anyone
to get a more favorable impression.
Bring various papers with you, diplomas, certifications, photos of
your previous work, whatever that could give you some
credibility. Interviewers do not always look at these papers in
detail, but showing them usually gives the interviewee some
Make sure that you remember all employment dates, otherwise you might
appear that you are lying on your resume, even though in fact you may
just be forgetful.
If you have a spouse or a partner, get her/him to ask you most
embarrassing questions prior to interview, to get a little bit of
Let the record show that it was written back on Mon, 26 Sep 2005 13:28:42
GMT in rec.crafts.metalworking :
I keep a small notebook, several sheets of paper stapled together
pamphlet style. Names, dates, addresses, wages, phone numbers,
supervisor's name, kind of work. Fits in a pocket, and I don't have to
try and remember everything. (Working through temp agencies for a couple
years, there were a lot of jobs, and I needed to know what I was doing when
just for my own sake.)
I also have a copy of a background investigation form, where I list all
my jobs, and everyplace I've lived. (Plus mother's maiden name, Father's
military service, and other esoterica.) This does two things, keeps my
records straight, and makes it "easy" if I ever have to fill out another
one. What the heck, They(tm) have a dossier on you, you might as well keep
your own file. :-)
as an explaination for the decline in the US's tech edge, James
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.