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b-school interview attire

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b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 08:49
hi all, I have a question regarding to the proper attire to be in as one goes for business school interviews. I'm going for the traditional colors (dark suits and white shirt, black belt and dress shoes). Anyway, I have just realized that I have never really owned a set of cufflinks. I don't understand the reasoning behind cufflinks. What are cufflinks for and are they necessary for b-school interview?

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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 09:14
bakfed wrote:
hi all, I have a question regarding to the proper attire to be in as one goes for business school interviews. I'm going for the traditional colors (dark suits and white shirt, black belt and dress shoes). Anyway, I have just realized that I have never really owned a set of cufflinks. I don't understand the reasoning behind cufflinks. What are cufflinks for and are they necessary for b-school interview?

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In my opinion, NO, absolutely not. Cuff links, again, in my opinion, are flash and style. I own several french cuff shirts and I would never wear one to a job interview. If you wear a tux, its good formal protocol, otherwise its just stylistic. The cuff links I own are very classic styled tiffany silver that dont draw a lot of attention, but they're still not conservative in the sense that wearing cuff links is not conservative. Just my thoughts, but I would stay away from them for this occasion.

By the way, you preping for Tuck interview? I'll be there on the 22nd.

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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 09:19
I own a set of cuff links that say DAWG on them.

In all seriousness, I would not wear cuff links to networking/interviews. Like the poster above, they are way too flashy.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 09:40
never owned cuff links... i would wear a black suit, black/blue shirt, black/gray pants and a tie...

on a side note, do people take off their suits once in the room or gonna wear it throughout? i kinda get nervous with suit on heh...
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 10:21
so exactly what are cufflinks for? I just don't see too many of them around; but then again, I don't see a bunch of suits everyday either.

bpenn: yes, this is for Tuck's interview. I'll be there on Sunday and my interview is on Monday. I can only stay until about 1:30pm on Monday before I have to drive back to Boston to catch my flight :?

shaselai: unfortunately, I don't have a pure black suit, which is something I'm contemplating about purchasing. But as of right now, I'll have to go with my dark grey suit...
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 10:33
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bakfed wrote:
so exactly what are cufflinks for? I just don't see too many of them around; but then again, I don't see a bunch of suits everyday either.

bpenn: yes, this is for Tuck's interview. I'll be there on Sunday and my interview is on Monday. I can only stay until about 1:30pm on Monday before I have to drive back to Boston to catch my flight :?

shaselai: unfortunately, I don't have a pure black suit, which is something I'm contemplating about purchasing. But as of right now, I'll have to go with my dark grey suit...


I'll be making that same drive, looking forward to it actually. Also, you'll be fine with dark grey, I'll probably wear a charcoal grey suit myself.

Anyway, back to cuff links. French cuff is just a different cut for the end of sleeve on a shirt. A french cuff is double long, then folds back on itself. It doesn't have any buttons sewn on, just 4 holes (remember, folded back on itself) so you can run a piece of metal or fabric through the cuff to secure it. That's basically it. Its not very practical or functional, that's why I said its stylistic. In fact, I used to get double button cuffs on a lot of my shirts, but now I just stick with single button for the most part. Its just easier, and since I'm now married I'm not out wooing young women with my amazing french cuffs anyway ;)
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2010, 07:51
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shaselai wrote:
never owned cuff links... i would wear a black suit, black/blue shirt, black/gray pants and a tie...

on a side note, do people take off their suits once in the room or gonna wear it throughout? i kinda get nervous with suit on heh...


I'd stay away from a black suit if possible - traditional business colors are charcoal/dark gray or navy blue. Definitely stay away from a black shirt with a dark suit. You're interviewing for business school, not a supporting role in a mafia movie.

You're best bet is to stay conservative: gray/navy suit, white or light blue shirt, basic tie, black shoes. And you keep the suit jacket on during the interview unless the interviewer specifically invites you to take it off.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2010, 11:45
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shaselai wrote:
never owned cuff links... i would wear a black suit, black/blue shirt, black/gray pants and a tie...

on a side note, do people take off their suits once in the room or gonna wear it throughout? i kinda get nervous with suit on heh...


I'd stay away from a black suit if possible - traditional business colors are charcoal/dark gray or navy blue. Definitely stay away from a black shirt with a dark suit. You're interviewing for business school, not a supporting role in a mafia movie.

You're best bet is to stay conservative: gray/navy suit, white or light blue shirt, basic tie, black shoes. And you keep the suit jacket on during the interview unless the interviewer specifically invites you to take it off.


This is the advice to stick with.

And to cover all of the bases: Button just the top button of your suit jacket and leave it buttoned until you sit down, at which point you unbutton it.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2010, 06:58
silly question but no one else mentioned pants - is it supposed to be matching color to the suit or dress pants are good?
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2010, 07:04
my dress pants is a matching set with the suit (I got the 2-piece altogether). I think it'll be best to match with the jacket color since I really don't want look like I'm a person who's sporting 6 different colors going into the interview.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 06:18
shaselai wrote:
silly question but no one else mentioned pants - is it supposed to be matching color to the suit or dress pants are good?

Your pants should match the jacket, ideally purchased as a matching set. If you mix & match, it will likely be obvious that the items are made from different fabrics.

If you wear a suit, shirt, and tie combination similar to what Jerz has described, you'll be fine.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 09:22
What about off-campus interviews with alumni? Does the same formal attire apply?

I'm unsure where alum typically schedule interviews (coffee shops? their office?). It might be weird to be the only one at whatever venue with formal attire on, let alone a suit. In the absence of information, I'd run with donning a suit, of course, but just thought I'd check.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 09:46
wiredo wrote:
What about off-campus interviews with alumni? Does the same formal attire apply?

I'm unsure where alum typically schedule interviews (coffee shops? their office?). It might be weird to be the only one at whatever venue with formal attire on, let alone a suit. In the absence of information, I'd run with donning a suit, of course, but just thought I'd check.


My belief is that it's always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. When dealing with an interview, always wear the suit. In fact, I'd say that when dealing with admissions staff, alumni, the school itself, etc. etc. etc, wear the suit.

Wearing a suit isnt seen as goofy or 'over the top' in the eyes of your interviewer, even if they are not wearing one. It's professional and shows you are serious.

There's too much to think about before/during/after an interview -- dont let your clothes be one of them. Wear the suit and dont worry about it.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 09:59
I think black suits are fine, I have interviewed with them many times (pinstriped) though.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 10:15
Dawgie wrote:
I think black suits are fine, I have interviewed with them many times (pinstriped) though.



do interviewers really care that much about what colors? its picking talents not best dressed.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 17:09
wiredo wrote:
What about off-campus interviews with alumni? Does the same formal attire apply?

I'm unsure where alum typically schedule interviews (coffee shops? their office?). It might be weird to be the only one at whatever venue with formal attire on, let alone a suit. In the absence of information, I'd run with donning a suit, of course, but just thought I'd check.


From what I've read in the past, alumni interviewers will tell you ahead of time if they want you to arrive in business casual, etc. If they don't give you any specific information, I'd go with the suit (as you've stated you would).
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 17:30
I wear french cuffed shirts and cuff links almost exclusively. I think it depends on the style, I don't any with a white collar and cuffs which I think look dated. I know a lot of folks who rocked cuff links at business school.
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 07:41
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Cuff links are fine in everyday business wear, but I would NOT wear them for interviews at b-school or otherwise. Same goes with pocket squares, flashy socks, etc. I own all these things and they are a part of my personality, but when it comes to interviewing you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. I think cuff links would be fine for something like an information session or something more casual even though they are generally thought to be more formal. I would go with something like fabric knot links instead of flashy metal generally.

As far as suits go, the pieces must match. If they don't then you are not wearing a suit, but a pants and sportcoat. Do NOT wear a black suit under any circumstance unless it is a formal event, a funeral, or you work in the hospitality industry. Some people may disagree with this statement, but trust me, knowing that some of the guys at top banks and consulting firms are knowledgeable of fashion, they all know this rule and you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. Stick with something conservative: plain charcoal/gray or blue or something subtle if it is a pinstripe.

Cufflinks, contrast cuffs, bold pinstripes all say executive. You are not one yet, so don't act like it. Tie bars and pocket squares say fashion forward, not conservative.

And above all, if you are interviewing at Tuck, shouldn't you just wear your bow-tie? :lol:
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 11:25
jbharris88 wrote:
Cuff links are fine in everyday business wear, but I would NOT wear them for interviews at b-school or otherwise. Same goes with pocket squares, flashy socks, etc. I own all these things and they are a part of my personality, but when it comes to interviewing you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. I think cuff links would be fine for something like an information session or something more casual even though they are generally thought to be more formal. I would go with something like fabric knot links instead of flashy metal generally.

As far as suits go, the pieces must match. If they don't then you are not wearing a suit, but a pants and sportcoat. Do NOT wear a black suit under any circumstance unless it is a formal event, a funeral, or you work in the hospitality industry. Some people may disagree with this statement, but trust me, knowing that some of the guys at top banks and consulting firms are knowledgeable of fashion, they all know this rule and you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. Stick with something conservative: plain charcoal/gray or blue or something subtle if it is a pinstripe.

Cufflinks, contrast cuffs, bold pinstripes all say executive. You are not one yet, so don't act like it. Tie bars and pocket squares say fashion forward, not conservative.

And above all, if you are interviewing at Tuck, shouldn't you just wear your bow-tie? :lol:


Agree 100%. +1 for including accessories :)
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Re: b-school interview attire [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 11:43
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One other thing: SHINE YOUR SHOES! Your choice in footwear says a lot about you as a person in a very subtle (or not so subtle) way. Classic black or brown shoes, made of leather, not plastic, with real leather soles, not rubber. Everyone is judging you. This rule applies beyond just interviews, i.e. dates, meeting your girlfriend's family, going to work, etc.
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Last edited by jb88 on 22 Sep 2010, 17:09, edited 1 time in total.
Re: b-school interview attire   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2010, 11:43
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