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Is there specific interview dress code for female applicants?

Anonymous

Hello, I've seen some good advice on interview dress code for male candidates but are there any rules for female candidates? Is a suit and shirt also required or do you see female candidates coming in a formal dress with jacket?

Thank you in advance for your tips!

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Andrea
Expert
replied on 01/20/2018
BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews conducted and 8 years interviewing experience

Unfortunately consulting is very traditional when it cimes to interview dress code. I've seen seversl types of outfits from female candidates that convey the appropriate level of professionalism:

-formal dress and jacket (as you mentioned)

-knee length dark color skirt, solid color blouse and jacket

-dark color pants, solid color blouse and jacket

A note on the following:

-blouse: solid color is best, but patterns/floral motives work too as long as they are not too distracting. The important thing is also to make sure that blouse is not see-through (happens sometimes with silk/synthetic fabrics) or if it is that you have a full tank top underneat. Also no cleavage showing.

-shoes: flats or low heel pumps

-jewelry: limit to bare essentials and also not too flashy. Might suggest to remove facial piercings if they do not show evident holes

-skirt: ideal length is between a palm above the knee and knee length. No shorter, no much longer

-perfume: no unless very mild

-make up: ok but keep it light, especially eye shadow and blush

-Pantyhose: ok both with or without. No patterns

hope it helps,

andrea

Hemant
Expert
replied on 01/21/2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.

This isn't very complicated really. Wear a business formal code. What this usually means is:

1. No bright colors (e.g. red/yellow)

2. No traditional clothes (e.g. indian Saris)

3. No visible tattoos, minimal jewlery, and nothing too flashy.

I've interviewed women with a suit, and without one. It doesn't really matter.

Francesco replied on 01/21/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1100+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

as mentioned suit+shirt is not compulsory for women. Standard business attire for women is pantsuits or suit with a matching skirt. Formal dress + jacket would also work. Some additional points to consider include:

  • Limit the amount of jewellery to watch and wedding band
  • Avoid cologne (interviewer may be allergic)
  • Bring ordinary bags, shoes and other gadgets – avoid showy ones
  • Avoid nonstandard haircut
  • Avoid excessive make up/fingernails

Best,

Francesco