You hear everywhere that the case interview is about making a difference; how to make the interviewer like and remember you, how to make yourself look outstanding, and how to tell unique stories that impress?
However, unlike all the above areas, there is one thing you don’t want to stand out and that’s your attire!
Yes, the perfect outfit is one that the interviewers don’t have to take notice of. Of course one way to make that happen is to not underdress, and the opposite is also true. Don’t overdress too much as well (a little overdress is fine).
So the best way to do that is to call the recruiter and literally ask about the dress code of the interview. Compared to how much effort you spend for case interview prep, this one simple act is trivial and I strongly recommend everyone of you to do it.
So if you do that, there are 2 popular answers from the recruiter. And I will explain below what each of them mean.
1. Business Professional / Business Formal
“Business formal” is essentially the same as “business professional” but with a little fanciness added. In this setting, I’ll refer to both as one big group. Here is a checklist you can go through yourselves. If you can check all items here, you are good to go:
- Have a suit
- Suit color should be dark. In fact, to be safe, just do black so you don’t have to worry about how dark your gray, brown, or navy looks.
- Suit pattern should be simple. In fact, to be safe, just do solid colors so you don’t have to worry about how simple this pattern looks.
- Shirt is classic and button-down type.
- Shirt color should be bright and muted. In fact, to be safe, just do white … you get the idea.
- Have a tie.
- Tie pattern should be subtle.
- Your tie is long enough to touch your belt.
- Pants color and pattern should match your suit (a.k.a: it should be black with no pattern). No jeans please.
- Shoes should be leather.
- Shoe color should be black or brown. In fact, to be safe, just do black.
- Belt color should match with the shoes (a.k.a: black it out, too)
- Socks color should match your suit and pants color (a.k.a: black it out)
- Your face should be clean.
- Your hair should be in place.
2. Business Casual
The checklist looks the same as the above except that:
- No tie
- The suit is optional, either way is fine
- Khaki and dress pants are acceptable. Still, no jeans.
All of the above are for men. Usually, the dress code for women is less well defined. So if you happen to be a woman, please follow your women’s intuition and choose an appropriate outfit.
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