Tie or no tie for lunch with MD (final interview)

Hey WSO community, you've been helpful so many times, would you mind helping me with another little questions?

I am in PE recruiting stage now, and advanced a lot with one upper MM fund. Passed two analysts, four associates, three VPs, financial modelling homework, and now final stage - lunch with MD on Monday.

Should I wear a tie? Is it stupid to take the tie off when taking food?
VPs told me it would be "less formal" but I have no idea what it means... Of course lunch is less formal than panel interview in the office!
What do you think?

P.S. I googled several similar threads on WSO but except for few opposite recommendations (and advice not to order messy food) those were mostly full of flame.

P.P.S. I obviously understand that decision regarding tie will not be a deciding factor in giving me an offer or not but since it's fantastic opportunity I am a bit paranoid here and would like to play it as safe as possible.

Thank you!

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Comments (14)

Mar 7, 2014 - 10:12am

Do whatever you feel most comfortable in. You made it to the final round, a tie isn't going to matter.

"Look good, feel good, play good"

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Best Response
Mar 7, 2014 - 11:22am


Agree with the above. Wear a tie to be safe in the off chance that you get stuck interviewing with an uptight MD who views the less formal dress as a sign of disrespect. You should always wear a tie when asking for money or a job.

I agree with this. A tie is just a social convention within many contexts that conveys you are showing the person respect, and outside of maybe tech or some hedge funds, no one is going to be pissed that you are making an effort to look professional for a job interview. You can always rip it off and stuff it in your pocket if you come to the conclusion that your judgement was in error.

Side note, think about what a tie is...it's a slender piece of cloth that dangles from your neck. In logical terms it's ridiculous and doesn't make any sense, but in terms of society's conventions which govern social perception, it serves as a signalling mechanism based upon the collective acceptance of its significance. And that concludes my short blurb on the philosophy of ties.

Mar 7, 2014 - 9:36pm


Yes, wear a tie. Also, you probably know all this already, but just to hammer it home, be real nice to the waitstaff, don't sit down before the MD sits down, and tip generously (if you're footing your own bill, which you probably won't, but just in case).

Yeah, this. In addition to the MD trying to see if you're a cultural fit, it's also a look into your professionalism and character. It's like another version of the 'airplane test' (can they stand to sit and talk to you outside the office).

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