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How to Dress for Your Interview at the Finance Firm

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Section: Dressing for the Occasion - Blog

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Securing an interview with your dream finance firm is in itself cause enough for celebration in this highly competitive industry. But don’t pop the champagne corks just yet, you haven’t quite got that job in the bag.

And while you may feel extremely confident in your skills and aptitude, have you given any thought to what you’re going to wear? Take our advice and don’t leave a thing to chance, this is your career after all.

It’s all about the first impression

It matters not if you are a graduate fresh out of business school or a seasoned professional taking a step up the career ladder, in an interview first impressions count for everything.

They say an interviewer makes up their mind about a candidate within five minutes of them walking through the door and with a decision like that coming so fast, you’ve got to accept the fact that what you’re wearing plays a vital role in this process.

If the competition for the position is tight (and we all know it will be) and many candidates ace the interview, then an interviewer may be looking for reasons NOT to hire you. So don’t let a creased shirt or scuffed shoes be the easily avoidable reason you’re looking through the classifieds again.

What to wear

While other industries may take a much more casual approach to dress code, the world of finance is all about portraying a professional and businesslike appearance. You will wear a suit, of that there is no doubt, but there’s still room for error so take heed of our advice.

The suit

Wool is the ideal choice of fabric for your suit. And no, it’s not a winter only option, wool is actually perfect for hot weather as it is a highly breathable material. It also hangs very well on your body and generally looks better than other suit fabrics.

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Choose a solid colour such as navy or charcoal as your aim is to appear professional and stylish yet not too flamboyant. So leave the pinstripes at home until you’ve established yourself in the office.

The fit is just as important as colour and fabric as an ill-fitting suit looks borrowed and gives an interviewer the impression that you haven’t taken this potential role seriously.

The shirt

Choose a 100% cotton shirt as they are the most comfortable, especially if you break into a cold sweat under the scrutiny of your potential new boss.

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It should be a plain block colour with white being the ideal choice. However, if you want something a little different, then go for pale blues or greys.

And just like the suit, it should fit perfectly. The collar shouldn’t be too big or noticeable, and there should be no more than half an inch of cuff showing from under your suit sleeves.

The tie

Stick to the classics. A solid colour such as red or blue is a safe bet, but if you want to go with a patterned tie, then a classic stripe is fine. Just make sure that it is not too ostentatious.

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The belt

It should be leather and so subtle that no-one even notices it. Ideally, your belt is matched with your shoe colour, but this is not essential. Again, though, remember that understated is everything.

The shoes

Forget those square toed shoes that have served you so well. You should wear a brogue or wingtip in either black or brown depending on your choice of suit as anything else will ruin the professional look you are trying to achieve.

The socks

Yes, you really should think about your socks. You will spend the majority of the interview sitting down, and we don’t want any leg showing so make sure those socks are at least halfway up your calf. Traditionalists will match their sock to their shoe, but we like to match to the trousers.

The accessories

A plain pocket square in a neat presidential fold is a nice understated touch but to be quite honest, going without is fine. If you are wearing a watch, make it simple and of course, classy. It should be a dress watch, though, as sports watches are a definite no. 

Make sure that you have everything bought, cleaned, and pressed well in advance and have everything ready to go the night before. There’s no point in having a mad dash because you forgot to iron your shirt.

Now that you have one less thing to worry about you can focus your energies on researching the company and preparing your answers for the questions you are sure will pop up. Oh and above all else, be yourself.  

Did you know you could schedule a no-obligation styling session with our of our consultants? We'll guide you through the process of picking just the right suit, shirt, tie and accessories to help you look and feel successful when you step into that room with your interviewer. 

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Simon Frazer

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