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Old 06-23-2012, 09:03 AM
1,500 posts, read 2,728,211 times
Reputation: 3598


Hi everyone! I may have an opportunity to interview for a position in Tucson. Although I know each company culture is different and in general it's better to overdress, do most businesswomen do the full business suit getup for formal meetings?

Sorry if this is a dumb question. I live in NC and even in our heat and humidity I would still expect a candidate to be in a jacket. Is it the same general rule in Tucson as well?

Can I assume women don't generally wear pantyhose/stockings with skirts? I'll probably wear pants just because I'm so pale I'm practically clear... but if I get there and decide the heat is just too much for a pantsuit, I'll have a dress as a backup option.

I've lived in West Texas and I don't think it was the heat so much as the culture that lent itself to people dressing more casually for interviews. I've never been to Tucson, though! I'm really looking forward to it.

Any other workplace fashion tips that will help keep me from standing out (in a bad way!)
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:22 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,875 posts, read 15,381,823 times
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Not a "dumb question" at all. Tucson prides itself on being laid back. You aren't specific, so I'll assume your interview is at a traditional business office.

I've always worn pants (so I didn't have to worry about pantyhose) and a jacket to job interviews in Tucson, although not the navy or gray uniform suit with pearls still seen in large cities. No matter what the temperature, the office is going to be air-conditioned, sometimes cooler than is comfortable for some, so don't worry about being hot. You can always take off your jacket while you're there if that seems appropriate. While I've never personally worked anyplace in Tucson where sandals weren't acceptable footwear (with salon pedicures being a sort of local obsession), I've always erred on the side of caution and worn closed-toed shoes with conservative heels to interviews. I wouldn't want my toes distracting from my conversation any more than I'd want any other body part(s) distracting. And I want to be able to walk as quickly as the person interviewing me if I'm given a tour, not teetering on sky-high heels. Now that I think about it, I suppose even here sandals might not be worn in medical settings, on construction sites, or other places where safety is an issue.

While I've been interviewed by men wearing what I would label "golf attire" and women wearing what I would put on for a patio party, I've never gotten any indication I had appeared overdressed. I think business people assume job applicants should be dressed conservatively.

As for general office style, I'd guess that Tucson would be much closer to West Texas than North Carolina no matter the season.

Best of luck if you get the interview!
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:11 AM
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Thank you so much Jukesgrrl, that is SO helpful! (I tried to give rep points but I'm told I have to spread it around more - I'll try to loop back and do that once I spread the love. )

We definitely sound like-minded, even down to the closed-toe shoes; I'll keep that in mind as I'm packing. Thanks again!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:12 PM
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I work for the government in Tucson, and we're Arizona business casual- meaning I can wear a pretty blouse that's sleeveless and capri slacks with Aldo strappy heels (open toes).. wouldn't do this on the east coast either, but they're cool about it at my job!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:34 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ
135 posts, read 323,287 times
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You should wear a suit - either with pants or skirt - and wear a camisole under your jacket so you can look professional for the interview but be comfortable outside. No one wears hose here - ugh. I learned that my first summer. Sensible low heels would work.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:03 PM
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 920,401 times
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Tip, take it or leave it:

After you get into the building, ask for the restroom and run your hands under cold water for a few minutes. It will lower your body temp., cool you off, and relax you.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:46 AM
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,611,291 times
Reputation: 1034
I think overall the advice has been spot-on. Tucson IS very laid back, but if you are going for an interview you are still trying to make a good impression (as you know since you asked the question), but it is going to vary based on the company and the position/company you are going for. You will probably be forgiven for being overdressed since you are from back east and we tend to think that everyone back east overdresses.

I am in Government, IT and work as a manager; I wore a long sleeve shirt and tie with Dockers and was dressed perfectly for my interview. The last time I helped hire someone two of us were in button-down short sleeve shirts and one person was in a tie (but he was upper management). None of the interviewees were in anything fancier than a nice blouse.

Around my office nobody wears a suit unless there is a BIG VIP or they are a Fed.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:11 PM
Location: Houston, TX
312 posts, read 754,057 times
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For what it's worth, and I live in Houston now but I'm a U of A grad, when I interview for positions (I'm a guy) it's always a white, long sleeved dress shirt, solid color tie and some kind of Dockers, with dark colored leather or suede shoes. Always appropriate in hot OR cooler weather (I have only lived in warm-weather states the last 20 years). On very hot/humid days I won't even iron the shirt and/or slacks, and by the time I arrive to the interview they look just fine (I take the bus everywhere as well).

Because I take the bus, many times I have had to duck in the restroom a few moments before the interview to straighten my clothes and wipe the sweat off my brow.

Also, I'm a graphic designer, so NONE of my jobs the last 15 years have required business dress. If your job will require business dress your interview attire may need to "snazzy" up a bit, but Tucson and to a lesser extent Phoenix are very laid back on interview attire across a wide range of industries and professions, as long as you appear clean, neat and alert.
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