What to Wear to Private Equity Interviews

As you get ready to walk into your first private equity interview, you will need to dress the part. Even though the outfit you wear is not the critical part of the interview, every part is important to make sure you have the best chance of getting that prestigious career opportunity. For men and women, you MUST be wearing a suit. So, first thing you should do is get out there and purchase a decent suit.

An ideal outfit for men would consist of a navy, black or gray suit with a simple dress shirt and respectable tie. Investment bankers are said to dress well, however, private equity professionals dress even better. Looking good for your interview really does make a difference, so you don’t want to look sloppy. For suits, I would recommend a black or dark blue suit that has a two button coat. You should purchase a solid shirt (either white or light blue) and get a conservative tie.

Also, get a decent pair of black shoes that are not clunky and preferably have a thin wooden bottom. And make sure not to wear French cuffs, a pocket square or a spread collar dress shirt.

Men, Suggestions on Shopping:

–          Suit:  Zegna (expensive), Hickey Freeman, Hugo Boss (ideal), Bloomingdales/Macy’s

–          Shirts:  Brooks Brothers (great non-iron shirts), Charles Tyrwhitt, Bloomingdales, Macy’s

–          Tie:  Brooks Brothers, Charles Tyrwhitt, Vineyard Vines (great value), Zegna (expensive), Ferragamo (ideal banker look), Hickey Freeman

–          Belts:  Brooks Brothers has good belts

–          Shoes:  Allen Edmonds, Cole Haan, Ferragamo (expensive but typical banker shoe)

Women should wear a black or dark blue suit that is not too tight and a conservative length. The shirt should be a light color, preferably white or light blue. Make sure to take it easy on the make-up and perfume. You do not want the interviewer to notice either your make-up or your perfume as it will distract him and may lower your chances of sticking out from other candidates for a good reason. Suggestions on where to shop include J.Crew, Banana Republic and department stores.