I suppose there are people in the world who feel comfortable in a suit. There are certainly enough people who wear them to work on a daily basis. I’ve even seen more than a few female physicians walking around in pumps that make me wince in sympathetic pain. I like to think that whenever a person’s career is such that they are required to wear an extreme level of professional attire (which is what I consider a suit) they can at least afford to buy outfits that are comfortable to wear day in and day out.

I do well enough for interviews. I’ve made it up and down vertical hills, up myraid flights of stairs and sat in all manner of chairs and couches during my interview days. But I have to say, my favorite part of the interview day is the post-interview quick change.

This ritual was not one I participated in for my first two interviews. They were located close enough to where I’m living that I could drive to and from the location on the same day. (Painful shoes notwithstanding, I arrived home in the same clothing I left in.) But the further from home the city I was interviewing, the more elaborate the post-interview transportation process became. Thus, the post-interview quick change.

It goes like this: during the interview, there may be some bonding among applicants. Occasionally I would find a interviewee or two who was headed to the same airport or bus that I needed to catch. Often I made the trek solo. Regardless there would be a moment after the final event of the interview day had concluded when I would retrieve my bags from the storage room in the admissions office, and find the nearest bathroom.

There I would undergo the delicate task of changing out of a suit and heels into jeans and sneakers without letting anything important touch the questionably clean bathroom floor.

A few pieces of advice for anyone attempting this in the future.

First, remember to put the clothes you wish to change into on top of your suitcase. It seems obvious, but in my rush to get ready in the morning I frequently managed to stuff a towel or pjs into my bag at the last minute, only to realize, as I was hopping around on one foot in the corner stall, that my desired clothes had become buried at the bottom of my duffel.

Socks are important. Unless it’s flip flop weather, they have a knack for sliding out of reach or losing their partner along the way.

Bring optional layers. Even in February the weather can be anything from below freezing to a balmy 60 degrees. Plus you’re probably going to be somewhere with unfamiliar weather patterns.

Have somewhere to put your suit post-change. You either need enough room in your suitcase, or a separate garment bag. On a related note, garment bags are surprisingly awkward to carry on public transport.

Last but not least, make sure that you’ve finished with everything interview-related before you decide to do your quick change. You’ve put all this effort into giving the impression that you’re the sort of mature, professional sort of person who hangs around wearing a nice suit all day. I feel like the illusion might suffer if you rush back in wearing a ratty sweatshirt to get a map for the subway.

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