Sweating the small stuff, the big stuff and everything in between
August 17, 2009 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Sweat management: help keep me from drowning during an interview.

I have an interview this afternoon. It's slated to be one of the hottest days to date - mid 90s. I was asked by the recruiter to wear a full suit and tie to the interview (I think it's overkill, considering the very casual nature of the company, but what do I know). While my suit is very lightweight, it's still a body oven. Combine these factors with the fact that I am bug guy who is a rather sweaty individual in general, and you get a very, very damp interviewee.

Some other things to include: I keep my head shaved, so the fountain flows straight down. I picked up an undershirt that claims to have superior wicking capabilities so hopefully my trunk will avoid the heat-reflection induced torso-water extraction caused by the dress shirt.

Here's what I'm planning on:
  • driving to the interview rather than taking the train (expensive parking is worth it. My experiences on the T tell me that the AC works 50% of the time at best)
  • I'm bringing a cloth with me for the sopping.
  • I picked up a chemical icepack that I'll keep in my bag for quick application to my wrists. I looked for ice wristbands, but couldn't find any such creature.
  • My everpresent bottle of water will be at my side.
Does anyone have other tips to help me stay dry(ish)?

Let me finish this by saying: I'm looking for things to increase my comfort level, not the interviewer's. This is supposed to be a heavily technical interview, so I just want to be able to focus on the work and not the drip, drip, drip. I really don't care what the interviewer may think; it's going to be freaking hot and if the interviewer has an issue with my cooldown methods, then I don't want to work for them anyway (ok, ok. I suppose I can accept no naked time :()

*bonus question! I'm considering bringing my courier bag in to the interview with me as it will be holding my water, ice pack, dry cloths and various other things. Anyone see a problem? It's a Bag of Holding, so it could only score points, right?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should also add that I'm not planning on using my car's AC. I'm one of those freaks who prefers windows on a hot day (and I don't even have a new or late model car! ha!). Besides, when I go from AC to outside to AC, it makes me sweat a million times more!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:56 AM on August 17, 2009

Damp, thin towel (dishtowel or similar) wrapped around your head during the car ride? I also did the ice-bag-to-the-venous-points trick (base of the neck is good, too, though I guess the tie gets in the way there) when I was 9 months pregnant and walking to work in non-breathable fabrics in August.

Good luck with the interview!
posted by palliser at 6:18 AM on August 17, 2009

Best answer: I would just plan to get to the location of the interview at least 30 minutes early. Hopefully there is a lobby or a store or something very nearby where you can bask in the AC and get your sweating/nerves under control until time for the interview. I was interviewing in the summer of 2006, and ran into some of the same problems you had. So I would just get places very early, sit in the lobby, and literally chill out.
posted by kimdog at 6:21 AM on August 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Where are you parking? Will there be privacy? I mean, go early, wear your pants, your undershirt, and bring your jacket/shirt/tie on hangers, and change in the car when you get there. Also, wear flip flops and then change into your shoes/socks once you've parked and got the AC on high. I would crank the AC on high the entire time, for as long as possible, and not ride with the windows down. When you get there, go to the bathroom and touch up. Drink water beforehand.
posted by bunny hugger at 6:38 AM on August 17, 2009

If you've got the time, take an ice bath, or at least as cold a bath as you can stand, to lower your core temperature. Cycle a lot of cold water through your body as well.
posted by ignignokt at 7:06 AM on August 17, 2009

Best answer: Powder. For the love of all that is cool and dry in this world, POWDER.
posted by contessa at 7:18 AM on August 17, 2009

I second the recommendation for wearing cool clothing on the commute to the interview. See if there's a nearby fast food restaurant close by, or if you know the company's building has a men's room you can duck into about 5-10 minutes before your interview. Wear shorts, a tank top, flip flops in the car, and carry your interview clothes (including undershirt, socks, shoes and maybe even underpants) with you. Also bring a facecloth and towel, so you can do a quick swipe at your face and upper body.
posted by xingcat at 7:18 AM on August 17, 2009

I feel like I could have written this. I think the bag is fine to bring in an interview, but I would avoid bringing out an ice pack and even water. It is an interview afterall and it doesn't take much to throw off people.

I would go with what Kimdog said, get there super early, and either just sit in the lobby and adjust to the AC in the building or sit in a nearby coffee shop but the walk from there could be rough.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:20 AM on August 17, 2009

Best answer: I'd be careful about drinking water (even if cold) if you're trying not to sweat. The more I drink, the more easily I sweat.

I like to use powder in the nether regions on super hot days to absorb the moisture.
posted by cashman at 7:23 AM on August 17, 2009

Hmm, wouldn't a wicking undershirt move the moisture into your outer clothes? I would suggest all cotton undershirt, all cotton dress shirt. Natural fiber socks.

Athletes don't like cotton because it absorbs water and can cause a chill.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:28 AM on August 17, 2009

Do you have slip-on dress shoes? If so, wear them to the interview and discreetly slip them off after sitting down. Feet are pretty good radiators (being all damp and sweaty) and will help cool the rest of you a bit, resulting in less visible sweat.
posted by Quietgal at 1:30 PM on August 17, 2009

Response by poster: I took contessa and cashman's suggestion and powdered up the whole shebang from the neck down (I only have the medicated kind, so it also kept me menthol-y fresh. I took kimdog's advice and got there early. Too early. 2 hours to be exact. But I spent those 2 hours chilling at the well air-conditioned Starbucks (which was lovely, until the caffeine hit my system, making me sweat. d0h!).

oneirodynia - I thought about the moisture moving to the outside, too, but it didn't happen. When I got home and peeled off the monkey suit, my skin remained amazingly dry. My outer shirt was just as dry. But the undershirt? Soaked! (and stinky, which is weird because my sweat usually doesn't stink - not the same day, at least, but I wasn't stinky on the outside. *phew*) Technology is amazing! (Hanes Perfect-T V-neck if anyone cares)

There was no prvacy, so I couldn't do any secret quick change. I couldn't play any shoe swap games because of the way I had to tape up my foot to keep my bunioned foot happy in my Bostonians.

In the end, I remained remarkably cool and comfortable throughout the interview (and the office was hot - it's a big atrium). From what the recruiter tells me, I nailed the interview, so I'l keep my tentacles crossed! Thanks everyone!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:17 AM on August 18, 2009

posted by contessa at 6:41 AM on August 18, 2009

Glad to hear it went well! Thanks for the update.

All synthetic high-performance fabrics are stinky. Try smartwool for a less stinky option.
posted by palliser at 11:30 AM on August 18, 2009

Thanks for the update. You've answered a question I've long wondered about. Good luck with your job hunt!
posted by oneirodynia at 3:07 PM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: I got the job!! Thanks for help keeping cool!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:28 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]

"No sweat." Congrats.
posted by bunny hugger at 4:25 PM on August 22, 2009

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