You are what you wear and the clothes are man, they say. Although you have obtained your management consulting interview based on your hard work and credentials, it can not reduce the impact that visual impressions contribute to the overall picture. How you appear and the clothes you wear will convey a serious message to your hiring committee. There are a few simple ways to ensure that you will look professional. Just follow some basic rules about what to use and what not to use.
Human resources executives at McKinsey and BCG, among others, widely agree that simplicity is key to choosing interview costumes. You should avoid anything impressive or exaggerated. You want to look smart and be together, which means you should pay attention to the details, like pressing your suit the night before. You do not want to appear in your management consulting interview with the appearance of having your clothes removed from the bottom of a laundry basket or a suitcase. All of this may seem basic in terms of interview etiquette, but according to the current Boaz employees, they’ve seen it all. Rigas, among other small visual details, can leave a lasting and negative impression on the minds of the hiring committee.
Men should be conservative in a suit and tie. Press your shirt and exhale your suit before the interview. A fold that comes up while sitting during the waiting period is fine as long as the suit has been professionally approved prior to the interview. Men’s shoes should be clean and dust-free or polished. You will not want to come with mud on the bottom of your shoe. Be sure to leave a nasty and lasting impression on the clerk who is forced to clean his mess.
Women should meet similar expectations of costumes. Neat trousers or skirts and low cut tops are terrible for a job interview. Women should keep their colors neutral and avoid many jewelry. A simple suit of navy blue or charcoal with a white or creamy blouse and a silver chain is a nice touch. Similarly, conservative, comfortable and professional footwear is preferred.
For men and women, avoid over-cluttering for your management consulting interview. It is preferable not to overdo it and fly “under the radar” visually to dress too much or too little (dress revealingly). Wear a European-style costume with vest and scarf shouts fashionista instead of management consultant. Stay with muted colors, such as blue, brown, gray and white. Avoid strong, striking colors such as red, orange or green. It is important not to force the envelope when choosing the dressing room for the interview. You want to leave a lasting impression and stand out from the rest, but achieving this with your clothes is not the way to go.
It is important to avoid scented perfume or strong cologne in your management consulting interview. A consultant from Bain told the story of a woman who appeared in her consulting interview and smelled like she had left the perfume factory. The members of the interviewing committee actually had to step out into the fresh air once it left because of the lingering scent. A mild deworming spray is needed, but exaggerating the scent is a false step to interview.
Kearney consultants recommend, as well as most management consulting teams, that the key to dressing your interview properly is to keep it simple and comfortable. You do not want to wear restrictive clothes that cut the circulation in the middle of the meeting or you stumble on your own feet because you insisted on wearing four-inch heels that are not practical.
Dress for success and never overdo it. The last thing you want to do during your management consulting interview is worrying about a faulty wardrobe or if your equipment is costing you the job. By focusing less on costumes and paying attention to the overall impression you are making, you can spend more time honing your interview skills and researching the company.
Take the path of least resistance when it comes to selecting your wardrobe. Think about business attire and do not stray from the plan. It’s better to underestimate rather than overdo it.