I sent in my cover letter + resume to a firm and was invited to a dinner with potentially 2+ members of the student hiring committee (I’m assuming other students were invited as well…) the restaurant is quite high end and I was wondering what recommendations you would have to wear. They didn’t mention a dress code. I’m thinking either: 1) A black dress + Black jacket OR 2) Black dress pants + dress shirt + black sweater over it. What would be your choice?
Ultimately, this is an interview, and that means one thing to us: full suit. Because it’s unclear, though, be prepared for the possibility that you will want to take off your jacket to be more casual. So, for example, choose a suit where you like the pants by themselves, and choose a layer beneath the suit that has sleeves and looks professional. A silk sweater would probably be our choice here, accessorized with pearls or other conservative (and good) jewelry. (Pictured above: August Silk Three-Quarter Sleeve Square Neck Sweater, available at Macy’s for $29.98 — we’d also recommend checking out your local Filene’s, TJ Maxx, or other discount store; for some reason they frequently have a wide variety of these silk sweaters.)
And yes, we did say pants — even though we’re normally huge fans of the skirt suit for interviews, because this is dinner, you want to avoid any appearance that you thought you were going on a date. Go with a skirt if you want; we’d avoid a dress at all costs.
Readers, what say you? Also, do you have any other tips for the tricky dinner interview? We’ll point you to an older post we wrote about dining etiquette; we’d also advise drinking very little (one glass of wine at most) and ordering something easy to eat, like ravioli.