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How to Dress for Your Interview at the Bank

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Section: Dressing for the Occasion - Blog

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So you’ve managed to secure an interview for a position at the bank. You’ve done your homework, updated your CV, and have a fairly good idea about what you should and shouldn’t say. But what about your suit?

Is it okay to throw anything on once it’s formal? Well, the answer is equal parts yes and no, and to help you out a little more, we’ve come up with a guide to looking the part for your interview at the bank.

The importance of dress sense

For both graduates starting off and young professionals looking to climb the career ladder, knowing how to dress appropriately could mean the difference between success and another day of trawling through the jobs section.

A good interviewer pays close attention to how you dress and will easily spot the telltale signs that indicate both the good and not so suitable aspects of your personality. For example, a colourful pocket square might suggest a creative spirit, a trait which has no real place in a bank.


If you are already working in an environment that fosters such creativity such as an ad agency, then it is doubly important to be aware of what your suit says about you and, if need be, to change your style for the interview.

The first impression


As we all know, first impressions, although sometimes misleading, are crucial when it comes to an interview. This is particularly true in the world of finance and banking where it is essential to project an image of responsibility and integrity, not to mention competence.


It’s highly likely that your new position (if you get it) will involve handling or being responsible for large sums of money so instilling a feeling of trust in the interviewer is a massive step in the right direction.

But how to invoke such a feeling? By dressing like you belong in a bank of course.

  • The outfit
  • The suit

Nothing less than a tailored suit that fits you perfectly will do. Oversized shoulders, trousers that are too long, or a jacket that you could get lost in all show you to be a man that is not well prepared. And who doesn’t prepare for an interview? You see where we’re going with this, right?

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Stick with conservative colours such as charcoal grey or navy. Black is also fine but a little run-of-the-mill. We would also avoid skinny fit suits as they are a bit less formal and not entirely appropriate for a bank job.

The shirt


A crisp white shirt is the failsafe for all interviews and has been a staple in the uniform of many a banker since the dawn of sartorial times. However, these days light pastel hues are acceptable and might even help you stand out from the crowd in a very subtle way.

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A thin pinstripe in your shirt is fine but it mustn’t be too noticeable which is why checks are a definite no. Again make sure it fits perfectly and that the cuffs and collar are spotless and buttoned correctly.

The tie

It might be tempting to get a little creative with your choice of tie, but remember what we said about creativity earlier? While you might like to add some flair to your outfit when you have established yourself in your role, the interview is no place for such flourishes.

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Choose a simple plain tie in a standard colour such as red or blue. The lack of pattern allows the interviewer to focus more on you rather than your neckwear. And most importantly, learn how to tie it properly.

The accessories

A simple pocket square in a presidential fold is a nice finishing touch for your look and lends you an air of sophistication. If you wear a watch then make sure it’s not a Casio G-Shock, only a dress watch will do.

Socks should be plain and preferably match your suit colour. They should also be long enough that when you sit down, no part of your leg is visible. That’s as far as you should go with accessories. Leave tie bars and cufflinks at home for the time being. 

The shoes

People often judge a man by his shoes so take special care to choose the right pair to go with your suit. They must be in good condition and shined or cleaned correctly. A scuffed toe will tear your carefully assembled look asunder and leave question marks over your suitability to a banking job.

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As a graduate, the chances are that your outfit will be for the most part new, but as a young professional your suit may have some signs of wear and tear. To create the best and most businesslike image you might consider buying a new shirt and tie and perhaps having your suit looked at by a tailor. If you'd like some expert advice on picking the right suit for your interview, you can schedule an obligation-free styling session with one of Montagio's master tailors. 

It might seem like an unnecessary cost, but as one who is applying for a job in the bank, you should understand the value of a solid investment.

 

Image credits © Imagery Majestic | Dreamstime.com © Elnur | Dreamstime.com

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