Interview Attire Confusion

Got an interview and the dress code says business casual. Should I be safe and wear a Suit with a tie? Thanks!

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2021 - 9:49pm

Do you have any clue on the culture of this firm? Is everyone wearing jeans and polos? Or the classic "khakis and button down". In general, you always want to err on side of being over dressed vs. under dressed on an interview. And honestly it is kinda a rite of passage to go on an interview wearing a suit and tie and find literally everyone else dressed way down (you will instantly stick out as an "interviewee"), this is totally how it is my firm as a matter of fact. Still, I think showing up overdressed is somewhat expected. 

Personally, I'd say you have to use own judgement, if you think a full suit is maybe too much given the instruction of "business casual" (which means no suit and tie), then the blue sports coat and dress pants with tie is an option (and can ditch the tie if you make a judgement call before or in between meetings). Again, know the context.

Nobody ever seems to wear suits or ties at my firm, but we still like to see interviewees (especially college students) show up like that! I'm not kidding about it being a rite of passage, just own it! Meaning.... if you go full/suit and tie, have a strong reason why to explain it that makes you look awesome (if anyone actually says something). 

Sep 8, 2021 - 9:17am

I agree with this 100% and will also add that it's super easy to take a tie off if you're sitting in the lobby and you realize that no one around you is even remotely dressed up. Fold that baby up, put it in your jacket pocket, unbutton a button or two, and you're set. 

If it's super business casual like a lot of firms are going these days (untucked polo, jeans, and sneakers, for instance) - when you walk into the interview room you can take your jacket off and roll the sleeves up. Just feel the vibe of the place. 

The point is, it's a whole lot easier to make your existing outfit more casual than it is to dress it up at the last minute. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 2
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Sep 8, 2021 - 11:04pm

Suit with no tie is the move for an interview which specifically says business casual. Bring a tie rolled up just in case. 

Sep 9, 2021 - 1:26am

Eligendi consectetur molestiae at dicta magnam consectetur. Molestiae impedit voluptas optio natus fuga veritatis. Quia voluptas dignissimos fugiat laboriosam voluptatem occaecati.

Incidunt mollitia assumenda qui dolores vitae quas. Sed cum eaque ipsam enim. Omnis consequatur voluptatum ea eos sequi laborum quam. Rerum ducimus voluptate voluptatem harum ducimus aliquam enim neque.

Et ipsam quasi non. Vero illo molestias non aliquid laborum et. Vitae odit est sit dolorem nam. Quia quis placeat natus excepturi ullam commodi cum. Quidem voluptatem dolores vel iusto omnis ullam. Voluptate esse iusto at porro et et sunt. Vitae expedita illo inventore rerum.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (220) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (134) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (486) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (377) $82