What is one tip you would give to someone who is wondering what to wear—and how to prepare—for a virtual MBA interview?
To help you prepare for a virtual MBA interview, we asked MBA candidates and hiring managers this question for their best tips. From researching the interview attire to going with a classic look, there are several ideas to help you choose what to wear and improve your confidence going into the MBA interview.
Here are nine tips for dressing for a virtual MBA interview:
- Research Interview Attire by Scanning the Website
- Dress Professionally but Don’t Wear a Tux
- Business Casual is Always a Safe Choice
- Prioritize Comfort and Fit
- Ask for a Recommendation from the University
- Don’t Let the Relaxed Remote World Influence Your Dress
- Dress for Confidence (and Speak to Your Experience)
- Connect With a Current MBA Student
- Go With a Classic Look
Research Interview Attire by Scanning the Website
One tip for dressing and preparing for a virtual MBA interview is to snoop on the school’s website and social media handles for cues on wardrobe and demeanor. The way the school presents its students to the world provides a solid example of the kind of appearance you should aim for. Also, perusing these profiles can provide inspiration for talking topics, and you can use news and tidbits gleaned from these searches to ask thoughtful questions or make conversation during the interview.
Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
Dress Professionally but Don’t Wear a Tux
Dress professionally; it doesn’t matter if your meeting is virtual or in-person. Remember, first impressions matter, and virtual interviews are no different. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put on your finest tux or try and go for a cocktail dress, you can go for something a bit more comfortable like a nice sweater on top of a shirt. You can also opt for a blazer and a shirt or just a shirt alone. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure it’s clean, ironed, and well put together. There’s nothing worse than a wrinkled shirt or a dirty piece of clothing.
Jessica Ulloa, MyPerfectResume
Business Casual is Always a Safe Choice
If you’re feeling unsure of what to wear for your interview outfit and it’s stressing you out, I always say business casual is a safe bet. You probably have a nice shirt and jacket to go with it, and by picking your favorite go-to’s, you will feel relaxed and confident. I wouldn’t worry too much about your bottom half unless for some reason it will be in the camera’s range. If you make sure the top half is looking clean and put together, your appearance will be the least of your worries!
Tom Mumford, Undergrads
Prioritize Comfort and Fit
You need to think beyond just the clothes you’ll be wearing and also focus on how well they fit. Wearing an oversized blazer or a suit that’s too tight will be counterproductive in helping you make a good first impression. We often forget that a suit that was tailored to fit years back won’t necessarily complement us the same way so being mindful of comfort and making alterations is always a good start.
Harry Morton, Lower Street
Ask for a Recommendation from the University
Though often better to overdress for an interview, what’s the harm in asking for a recommendation? Reach out to the university and ask for clarity about what their expectations are. Contact their own career department or ask a current student what they would suggest. Don’t be afraid to ask – the answer will help you go into the interview with more confidence…and the right outfit!
Logan Mallory, Motivosity
Don’t Let the Relaxed Remote World Influence Your Dress
In the relaxed world of remote work, it is easy for a casual dress approach to trickle into an interview, however, what you wear can have a major impact on that first impression, so it is best to resist this temptation. You will not be expected to be overly formal, but a button-up shirt or blouse that gives off a professional vibe can go a long way in sending the message of your seriousness about the position and your adherence to a professional company culture.
In addition, pay attention to your background, as this too, can also send a distinct message. Just as you would not invite someone to your home when it is messy, that rule should apply to your virtual interview. By approaching your virtual interview the same way you would if you were doing it in an office setting, you will prevent embarrassment and place yourself in a great position to make a good first impression.
Woody Sears, Hearhere
Dress for Confidence (and Speak to Your Experience)
I’d suggest wearing whatever you feel most confident in. Some men prefer a full suit, others a long-sleeve button-up without a tie. Your webcam is only going to catch you from above the waist, but wear the kind of pants/skirt/dress that you’d feel comfortable wearing in the office, alongside like-minded colleagues. Sweatpants are for relaxation, not interviews.
When it comes to the interview itself, tell your story. Have a one, five, and ten-minute version of your path toward where you currently are. You won’t deploy all three, but you’ll be better able to go in-depth or lean toward brevity as the question allows.
David Patterson-Cole, Moonchaser
Connect With a Current MBA Student
Imagine that the interview was in-person, so wear business professional attire, think: suit. Prepare by connecting with a current MBA student in the school you are interviewing with. Ask them what their experience has been like; what they have been most surprised about; how the classes have prepared them for their summer internship; and steps the school has been taking to help students network with companies for permanent placement. That will help you tremendously when you formulate your questions to ask the interviewer. When it comes to preparing for the questions you may be asked, google ‘STAR interview questions’, and then create flashcards with the questions on the front and the example you have chosen to talk about, on the back. Record yourself answering the questions so you can see where you are having difficulty.
Crystal King, Amazing Baby
Go With a Classic Look
There are classic colors that will never go out of style when it comes to interviews: Navy jacket, solid-colored shirt or blouse, red tie or scarf (stripes and checkers don’t translate well virtually). When you are dressed well, you will feel more confident.
Listen to all of the questions thoroughly and take a moment to give yourself room for a thoughtful answer. Know why you want to be accepted into the MBA program (“this will give me the opportunity to pursue my passion in the _________ field”) and let this “knowing” drive you to do well in your interview.
Kristi Lee, ElegantLee Design