What to Wear to Pre Interview Dinner for Ladies?

goaled's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 4

So there are threads about this for guys, but what should a female wear to a pre-interview dinner? It's allegedly "informal" but the restaurant pick indicates a smart-casual dress code. Is a skirt-suit fine? Or is that too formal? Probably overthinking this, but input would be appreciated.

Not sure if this should go in the Business Attire or Get a Job forum, but since it's in an interview specific context, went with the latter.

What to Wear to an Interview Dinner for Women?

When attending a pre-interview dinner, women should plan to wear something that could be worn in both business casual and business professional environments. A skirt or pant suit option or a dress with a blazer. Conservative heels and jewelry are also appropriate.

See an example below:

Source: https://www.calvinklein.us/en/womens-suits

It is better to be a bit overdressed so unless the dinner is described as "casual", plan to wear a suit. Make sure that what you are wearing under the suit jacket can be worn on its own so that you can take off the blazer if you feel over-dressed.

finance_monkey:

I would go with the skirt-suit option. Marginally overdressed is always acceptable, and more so than under-dressed.

arguewithatree:

If its banking, always skirt suit with leather heels. If not banking/less formal industry than skirt and tucked in blouse. If blouse is sleeveless bring a cardigan. Again, leather heels. Simple purse, simple hair, simple makeup. Easy.

internchick:

For any female reading this and wondering, ALWAYS wear a suit to a pre-interview night dinner. I had one of these, and they specified business professional attire. If you come in anything less, you risk feeling underdressed.

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Comments (11)

Jan 22, 2013

Hi-
I would go with the skirt-suit option. Nice scarf, or simple pearls. Marginally overdressed is always acceptable, and more so than under-dressed.
If the restaurant is local to you, stop by on the same night of the week if possible, a week or two prior to the recruiting event and make sure that you would not stand out. Tip the Maitre D (or hostess) and ask whether (s)he has seen any recruiting like events for company X, and ask what people wear.
Ultimately, it is extremely unlikely to make a difference unless you violate all basic judgement, but you will feel more comfortable knowing what you are getting into.
Recruiters tend to be more forgiving toward undergrad candidates (clueless and poor) than toward MBAs (should have their s**t together by now).
Good luck.

Jan 22, 2013

Ok don't wear a scarf. If its banking, always skirt suit with leather heels. If not banking/less formal industry than skirt and tucked in blouse. If blouse is sleeveless bring a cardigan. Again, leather heels. Simple purse, simple hair, simple makeup. Easy

Jan 22, 2013
arguewithatree:

Ok don't wear a scarf.

I'm older, so I could be out of touch, but what is wrong with an Hermes scarf? A decent percentage of the women in my associate class at MSDW (that is Morgan Stanley for you young punks) wore that to work.

Not looking to undercut you, just trying to make sure my future advice is useful.

Jan 22, 2013

Because it looks pretentious as a college student going through recruiting. Many of my older friends in banking do so, but I would never as a summer or even as a first year analyst. It's best to be conservative and simple for recruiting.

Jan 22, 2013

Ok, thanks. I agree w/ arguewithatree if you are undergrad/analyst, it could be perceived as pretentious.

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Jan 23, 2013

Thanks everyone for the tips! I know that logically it's not something to obsess over but the added input makes me feel more confident about what I'll be wearing on Friday, which is, psychologically speaking,really helpful. Thanks again!

Jan 24, 2013

something provocative - haaa just kidding.

Dec 7, 2017

for any female reading this and wondering, ALWAYS wear a suit to a pre-interview night dinner. I had one of these, and they specified business professional attire. If you come in anything less, you risk feeling underdressed.

Dec 7, 2017
internchick:

for any female reading this and wondering, ALWAYS wear a suit to a pre-interview night dinner. I had one of these, and they specified business professional attire. If you come in anything less, you risk feeling underdressed.

wow just saw this was 2013 lol superbump

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 7, 2017
goaled:

So there are threads about this for guys, but what should a female wear to a pre-interview dinner? It's allegedly "informal" but the restaurant pick indicates a smart-casual dress code. Is a skirt-suit fine? Or is that too formal? Probably overthinking this, but input would be appreciated.

Not sure if this should go in the Business Attire or Get a Job forum, but since it's in an interview specific context, went with the latter.

It depends on the company and type of dinner. Feel free to ask and if there is another female attending, ask her.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 23, 2018

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