How to Dress for a Skilled Trade Interview

Here at Lift Temp, we often hear similar questions from job seekers and candidates for both professional and skilled trade positions. Candidates often turn to our experts for resume support, leads, and – of course – questions about the interview process. Here’s one we hear almost every day:

“I’ve been invited to interview for a skilled trade position (carpentry, metalwork, HVAC, auto repair, etc), and I have no idea what to wear. Should I dress formally? Or ready for work? A three-piece suit seems out of place, but it also feels wrong to wear jeans to a job interview. Help!”

Of course the answer will vary slightly according to the position level, industry, and workplace culture, but here are a few general rules that can keep skilled trade candidates on track.

Stay Tour Ready

Chances are, you won’t be asked to step onto the shop floor and perform dirty or potentially dangerous tasks as part of the interview process, so you don’t need to prepare for a day on the job. But there’s a strong chance you may be taken on a tour of the shop floor, garage, factory, or work area. Be prepared to shake hands with your future co-workers, meet your future manager, and walk through areas in which work-related activity may be taking place.

Neatness Above All

As you choose clothes that seem appropriate for a first impression and safe for a tour of the work area, reject all shirts, trousers, and shoes that are worn or stained. Your clothes should look neat enough to pass for brand new. If your very best attire (including shoes) just can’t make the cut, have it professionally cleaned.

Jeans, Skirt, or Dress Pants

Below the waist, wear neutral colors with modest coverage. No shorts, no skirts that rise above the knee, no sweats, and no distressed jeans. Neat, pressed khaki pants or slacks are a perfectly fine choice for both women and men.

Above the Belt

Above the waist, choose a blouse or pressed button-down shirt with long sleeves. Suit jackets and blazers are perfectly acceptable for the interview setting, but are by no means required. Ties are also perfectly acceptable, but you won’t hurt your chances if you leave the tie at home. Women can’t usually go wrong with cardigans or shrugs that feel professional, neat, and new.

Above all, create an impression that suggests cleanliness, order, good repair, and attention to detail. Take the same pride in your appearance that you intend to take in your work. Before you step out the door, take a final look at yourself in a full-length mirror and make sure you’ve taken care of every loose thread, tiny stain, and missing button. Contact the experts at Lift Temp for additional help and job search tips.

CNC Machine Tooling and Wire Bending

Computer assisted machine tooling, or CNC machining and machine tooling, involves the use of computer programs to automate a procedure or process that bends, cuts or shapes metal in the form of sheets, die, or wires. CNC programming and CNC machining are promising fields of employment for a variety of reasons, though some experts predict that a current spike in demand for these positions won’t last beyond the next decade. While open positions are rapidly increasing in this area, salaries are holding steady and vary widely according to the geographic locations of employers. If employees are willing to relocate to pursue these open positions, their prospects and salaries can improve. Job seekers also face better prospects if they continue to expand their knowledge base and keep their skill sets broad and flexible.

What’s New in CNC Machining?

Metal fabrication technology is currently moving through a state of rapid evolution. CNC wire bending machines, for example, have dramatically decreased in size and increased in versatility and capability during the past decade. At this point, highly sophisticated bending machines can receive input from a USB or desktop computer, allowing the machinist to control the bending process from a desk and requiring minimal interaction with the wire. Complex designs consisting of a set of vector lines can be applied to a wire feed, and a system of rollers can twist and shape the wire into a two-dimensional or three-dimensional set of bends and circular curves.

CNC Machining Job Outlook

Knowledgeable employees who can program and operate wire bending devices and wire feeds using CNC platforms are sought after by a growing population of employers with very specific needs. Salaries for these positions average between 40,000 and 41,000 dollars per year, or 19 to 20 dollars per hour. Many hiring managers for these roles don’t require applicants to hold a college degree, but becoming a certified CNC machinist will require job-specific training. This training can sometimes be gained on the job, depending on the nature of the company and the position.

Contact the staffing team at Lift Temp to learn more about apprenticeship programs, vocational training opportunities, and job openings in the this field.