What should I wear to a chat/interview over coffee with a prospective employer?

After applying for a job, I was invited by the prospective employer to meet at a coffee place for a ‘chat’. I have never done something like this before! What is appropriate attire? I am going to bring my work samples and copies of my resume like I’m going to a normal interview, but in this case, I’m unsure about the proper attire. Would a suit be overkill in this instance? Also, what can I expect from the part of the prospective employer? Thank you!

Image taken on 2009-04-16 10:45:27. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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5 Responses to “What should I wear to a chat/interview over coffee with a prospective employer?”

  1. Amos S says:

    be wary.I would NEVER invite an applicant for “coffee”.this stinks to high heaven.

  2. 1 Luv Girl says:

    It is never an overkill to dress for success. Always dress one step above what the people where in the company. So if its business casual then dress business. if its a casual company (jeans/sneakers) then dress business casual. Never go underdressed it makes you look bad. I have met many a prospective employer for coffee or a late dinner and if you expect to be taken seriously then you need to dress the part. Also since this is more of an informal setting than an office setting don’t get to relaxed and divulge in personal informationmor foul language or even slang. Remember the key word is “PROSPECTIVE” and you are still being interviewed no matter where the location is.

  3. Lele44 says:

    It is hard to tell if you are a man or woman from the photo, so I will answer accordingly.

    Woman: If the work environment is formal, a nice pencil skirt at or slightly below the knee with a nice blouse and closed toed shoes. If it is less formal. wear slacks.

    Man: I think it depends on the work environment. If it is very formal, perhaps a shirt and tie and slacks should be fine. If more casual, a collared shirt will be appropriate.

    Wear something that has a jacket, and you can take off the jacket if it feels too formal.

    In any case do not look sloppy, do not wear sneakers, or sandals, shorts, or anything too revealing.

    Good Luck!

  4. Mel says:

    Dress as you would for the job interview – they may be meeting you outside of the office, but it is still an interview, believe me.

    If the company is formal and employees typically dress on the nicer end of the scale, a suit is appropriate. If it is a “business casual” environment, dress upscale casual – nice trousers or skirt, a blouse and cardigan or jacket. Swing by the company at the start or end of the business day to see how employees are dressed, then dress up a notch from there for the interview.

    Good luck!

  5. Kris says:

    Regarding the location, sounds strange but there could be good reasons. This happened to me as I once applied for a consulting job HQ’d in City A while living in City B. The hiring manager at City A happened to have a field consultant living and working in my current location so he had us meet at a local cafe for a first round interview. I wore business casual as that is common in my industry. Had it been the hiring manager to meet with, I would have dressed full business formal.