- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Ask the Recruiter

by Mike Arsenault - Director of Candidate Services

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military documents for job interviews

Let Mike know your questions for future articles by emailing them to marsenault (at) This month’s Q&A is below:

Q: A recruiter asked me to meet him for a lunch meeting. Is this considered a job interview or just an introduction? How should I dress?

A: While a lunch meeting is meant to be more casual, make no mistake, it is a job interview. When it comes to the selection of interviewing attire, remember this rule of thumb: “The more conservative, the better.”

Yes, you want to make an impression, but remember that first impressions begin with your attire and you don’t want your clothing to define who you are before you even get started, which is often the case with loud, flashy prints. It is very difficult to recover from an impression of being under / inappropriately dressed in an interview. You will get off on the right foot if you stick as closely as possible to this list:

Proper interviewing attire / etiquette:

- Dark-colored, single-breasted business suit for men; charcoal gray or navy blue is recommended; wool blend; trousers should match.

- Knee-length dark-colored business suit for women; charcoal gray, navy blue or black is recommended.

- White long sleeved shirt for men; professionally pressed with starch.

- White, neat business blouse for women, conservative in appearance (not ‘frilly’, low-cut, etc.). A conservative bow or scarf is acceptable.

- A conservative tie (no ‘loud’ designs, emblems, animals, cartoon characters, etc.) for men; dark red or maroon preferred; tied so the bottom of the tie reaches the belt.

- Polished black or burgundy business shoes for men.

- Low heeled business pumps for women (black pumps with black or gray suit, navy or black pumps with navy suit)

- Belt matches the color of your shoes; no big belt buckles

- Men’s accessories should be limited to a conservative watch, glasses and one ring per hand. No earrings.

- Women’s accessories should be limited to a simple necklace or conservative chain; earrings, if worn, should be simple and coordinate with the necklace.

- Make sure fingernails are cleaned and trimmed.

- Cell phone is off or on mute.

Mike Arsenault is Director of Candidate Services at Military Recruiter Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at marsenault (at)

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