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Old 10-30-07, 05:22 AM   #1
Lurker1999
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Ever biked to an interview in a suit?

Drive or bike? It's about 3 miles and the weather is supposed to be cool but dry today.
I'd rather not drive but I'm not sure about riding in a suit. I could stick the jacket into
my pannier and hope it doesn't turn out too wrinkled.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:50 AM   #2
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no.

but i biked home from one.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:51 AM   #3
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If it is just an easy 3 miles, you should just wear the suit and jacket. Should be fine if you take it easy and don't sweat.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:02 AM   #4
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One thing to watch carefully would be to keep your pant cuffs free of the chain and chain rings. You might want to put a large rubber band around each leg. The cuffs from dress slacks tend to move around a lot and it is very much possible for even the left one to poke through the frame into a greasy chain that could even tear and mangle it. The right cuff is even more likely to be shredded if not restrained.

I second riding with the jacket. It can be done easily, especially for only three miles. You might even get more respect from drivers.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:30 AM   #5
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Id drive to the interview. Why risk problems that could negatively affect your chances of employment?
Start riding the bike after you're hired.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:06 AM   #6
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Yes, I have. If you have the option, though, drive. Time enough for biking to work later.

Get some velcro straps and wrap BOTH of your pant legs to the outside, paying attention to keep your creases intact. Go heavy on the antiperspirant, and make sure you have plenty of time before the interview to maybe walk around the parking lot and stop sweating and start breathing at a rest rate.

Personally I ride without the jacket because I have to carry my bike down the stairs from my apartment, so I'm terrified of getting grease on it. To fold your jacket, pin the shoulders together with the back of the jacket on the inside. Keep the arms flat, then fold them one way or the other around the jacket. Then ROLL, not fold, the jacket tight enough that it holds together but not like you're trying to suffocate something in it. Make sure your bag is clean, otherwise place your jacket in a plastic bag before you pack it away.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:55 AM   #7
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No, but I have ridden to off-site business meetings.

I call the building in advance to assess:

1. When the doors open
2. Where can I wash up and change.
3. Where to store my bike (last meeting I rode my folder, so it just sayed in the corner of the meeting room)

I cycle in my kit, take a bird bath in the restroom, then change into business dress when I get to the location. Fortunately, we are usually business casual here in CA, so I don't need a dress jacket

I'm the first one there, and ready to go!
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Old 10-30-07, 10:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips. I usually ride with reflective ankle straps so the loose suit pant legs shouldn't be an issue. I tend to sweat no matter how easy I try to cycle so I think I will opt to drive this time around (lands me in rush hour traffic on the way home but it is only one time..).

At least this way I can also do my errands I've been putting off for weeks now like returning the used motor oil.
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Old 10-30-07, 11:10 AM   #9
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Yes, sort of. Didn't take a jacket, just slacks, shirt and tie. Carefully packed all good clothes in backpack and changed in a nearby restaurant washroom. I think it made an impression when they saw the backpack and realized I had cycled 10k. Didn't get the job though.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:21 PM   #10
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Yes. I wear a merino T shirt under my white shirt and ride at a sub-sweating pace.
I got the job.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:03 PM   #11
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OK - I am a cyclist but I was on the other side of this, 15 years ago when I was hiring a technician for a crew of test engineers. She showed up late, disheveled and greasy. She had to fix something on the way to the interview. Plus she was flustered by her adventure. She did not get the job.

Interviews are sacred. Treat them like you would your wedding. Don't add to the potential downsides by betting on a perfect ride.
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Old 10-31-07, 05:41 PM   #12
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Sure you can! Look at these. http://www.ski-epic.com/amsterdam_bicycles/

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Old 10-31-07, 09:16 PM   #13
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I tried something that worked very well tonight regarding keeping clothing neat.
I rode to school tonight, and my group had to do a presentation, so I wanted to look nice
for it. Using a cardboard reinforced folder (the kind you put a legal pad in) I wrapped my
collared shirt around it like dress shirts in packages are folded. I put that in my camelback,
with my pants folded up, pressed against it. When I changed at school, these clothes looked
great! I forgot to bring a comb to fix the helmet hair though.
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Old 11-01-07, 04:24 AM   #14
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I've biked to job interviews- otherwise I wouldn't get there at all. I've worn a fancy pantsuit (I'm female) and bike shoes, and the shoes and helmet hanging from my bag got me a compliment from the interviewer of a very cool large electronics company. I guess it depends on who you're interviewing for, though. I'd honestly rather not work for bike-unfriendly people.

Of course, this point is moot now that I have my own consulting biz. The customers (people with a lot more money and who are a lot stodgier than me) really get a kick out of seeing my partner and I ride our tandem to meetings in the 'burbs. I think it also conveys the image of thrift that I want to give our customers; we can do creative things to get the job done cheaply.
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Old 11-03-07, 04:35 PM   #15
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I've biked to job interviews- otherwise I wouldn't get there at all. I've worn a fancy pantsuit (I'm female) and bike shoes, and the shoes and helmet hanging from my bag got me a compliment from the interviewer of a very cool large electronics company. I guess it depends on who you're interviewing for, though. I'd honestly rather not work for bike-unfriendly people.

Of course, this point is moot now that I have my own consulting biz. The customers (people with a lot more money and who are a lot stodgier than me) really get a kick out of seeing my partner and I ride our tandem to meetings in the 'burbs. I think it also conveys the image of thrift that I want to give our customers; we can do creative things to get the job done cheaply.
Sometimes the only way to get to an interview is by biking to it. I do take my ride with me (after all it is a folding bike) and remember to bag it before I enter the office. I find that these bikes are a great ice breaker and I only ran into one anti-folder person in the years I used these type of bikes exclusively.
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Old 11-03-07, 05:44 PM   #16
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Personally I can NEVER ride my bike without getting grease on something. Every article of clothing in my dresser drawer has grease marks.
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Old 11-03-07, 08:19 PM   #17
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I heard about a guy in Canada who biked to a job interview through a blizzard and was offered the job on the spot -- the position just happened to be that of a bike courier.

It's possible to ride to a job interview, but I'd be reluctant to wear the suit while riding. In this climate, you will sweat while riding regardless of what you wear (in fact, you're likely to sweat while sitting idle in an air-conditioned office), so the best option would be to roll the suit into a pannier (not fold), allow plenty of time to change when you arrive (find somewhere close to the site, but not actually on site to do so discreetly), and make sure you've had time to calm yourself and/or clean up if necessary before the interview starts.

Personally I'd be reluctant to ride to an interview for some of the reasons mentioned in the posts above. However, with the increasing unreliability of virtually every other transport option (apart from walking) in this part of the world, it may soon become necessary.
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Old 11-07-07, 03:12 PM   #18
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I wear my work clothes (Dockers, dress shirt, etc.) when I ride my bike to work, but I keep extra deodorant in my desk and I keep a towel handy so I can hit the restroom for a quick freshen-up before the work day. I've only ridden to one interview, but I knew that employer was a bicycle commuter and the job had a work-casual dress code. One option is to ride the bus to the interview (with your bike in the rack), that way you're still presentable when you get there. Then you can ride home. Be careful because most dress pants aren't strong enough to handle the strain of a bike seat.

On another note, my biggest interview appearance disaster came when I stopped at the gas station to fill my empty gas tank before the interview, and the hose nozzle popped out of the tank and I was sprayed with gas trying to catch the hose. While the gas evaporated soon after I was sprayed, I still smelled like fuel when I got to my interview (and this was in the days when people still smoked in their offices). When I saw the full ashtray I worried the interviewer would light up a smoke and I'd catch on fire from all the gas.
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Old 11-08-07, 01:52 AM   #19
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Old 11-08-07, 01:59 AM   #20
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I'd drive to the interview. Why risk problems that could negatively affect your chances of employment?
Start riding the bike after you're hired.
Exactly. Go for a long bicycle ride before the interview, come home, relax, shower, drive there, and score yourself the new job. Deal with bicycle commuting after you have secured yourself a new employer.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:38 PM   #21
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If you were being interviewed for an environmentally friendly company you could use it to your advantage. I would likely try to slip it into the conversation some how. However for most job interviews I would take the car. Once I got the job I would go back to biking to work (sans suit). Suit gets put on at work.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:51 PM   #22
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However, with the increasing unreliability of virtually every other transport option (apart from walking) in this part of the world, it may soon become necessary.[/color]
+1

All you need is a washroom and some baby wipes.
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Old 11-12-07, 02:30 PM   #23
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From my perspective - and since you asked, No.

Why jeopardize the interview. And let's not have any of this Amsterdam comparative stuff unless there are no hills, no rain, and no grease on your bike. This ain't Holland or Denmark. If you have to rely on a car or other transport, then do so. Even if you have to "waste" some fuel. Get the job, then be a Paradigm Changer. Many people think bike commuters are just plain weird, so why arrive wrinkled, glistening, or worse. If the job calls for an interview in a suit, my advice is to show up like a Marine on parade.

Calling ahead to "arrange" a cleanup, then actually doing it, may be just as time consuming as driving.
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Old 11-12-07, 06:10 PM   #24
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At three miles I might just walk. Should only take an hour, plan for a little longer to give yourself time to cool off. Make sure your shoes are well broken in. I typically go for a long walk the morning of a job interview, all my interviews have been in "new" cities, the walk helps me learn the new city, clears my head, and a couple of times helped me come up with questions for the inevitable "So do you have any questions?"

On the other hand: I can't think while riding my bike (or driving).
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Old 11-13-07, 11:02 AM   #25
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I used to do it all the time when I was in school. I had a Raliegh DL-1, with fenders, chainguards, etc. Never got dirty. Just rode with the jacket, but took it easy so I wouldn't sweat.
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