You've already won half the battle, you've submitted your resume, gone to the meet and greets and it was appealing enough to land you the interview - now what about your visual resume?
Interviewers make up their minds about someone within the first 5 minutes of meeting them, therefore it's imperative that you look your very best and impress them right out the gate. In positions where the competition is stiff, interviewers are likely looking for a reason not to hire you and you definitely don't want that reason to be your outfit. Follow these tips to ensure your ensemble is as impressive as your resume.
Choosing your suit for a finance interview
What's the Best Suit Fabric?
Wool makes the best impression as it appears more expensive and hangs better on the body than any other fabric. If your interview is in the middle of summer not to worry - wool works as a temperature regulator and will keep you cool despite the heat. Look for Super 100s or 150s as they are the ideal quality and will last stand the test of time, the investment is well worth it.
Choosing a Suit Color
Color: Solid Navy or Charcoal
Leave the pinstripes at home until you've landed the job - you don't want to appear too showy. Your goal should be to be better dressed than the other applicants but not better than your interviewer.
Making it Yours: The Bespoke Suit
Details: 2-button Jacket, Flat Front Pants, Great tailored fit
A 2-button jacket is a classic staple that will last you years upon end. Pair with flat front pants without a pleat and you have a suit that will take you through any season and any occasion. Always remember fit is most key! A $600 suit that fits poorly is worse than a $300 suit that fits well. Opt for a suit which is made to your exact measurements and it will appear like one of a high-end designer label, while a high-end suit which is made to fit everyone can easily appear as baggy as a hand-me-down from your father if it's not the perfect fit.
Choosing The Shirt Material
100% cotton shirts have the best appearance and will not look cheap. Cotton blends will not give off the same level of authority and maturity as a shirt made from 100% cotton.
What Color Dress Shirt do I Need?
Color: Solid White or 'cool' tone
A classic white will exude an air of authority while a colored shirt will make you appear more friendly and approachable - choose which you feel is more appropriate dependent on the company. If you do opt for a color choose cooler shades such as grays or blues. Avoid funky patterns and colors as they will speak louder than you think.
Details: Appropriate collar, Great tailored fit
The fit of your dress shirt is equally as important as that of your suit and should not be overlooked. The biggest faux pas you could make is to wear a collar that is too big. Opt for a Classic or Spread collar and make sure that you cannot fit more than one finger between your collar and your neck. Best tie-knots for both collars is a full or half Windsor (preferably full)
Final details are key in pulling your look together and will show that you put added thought into your outfit beyond just matching your shirt to your suit. The finishing touches may not appear that big to you, but could be the difference between you and another well-dressed candidate.
Tie: 100% Silk
Stick to solids or a classic print but nothing too loud.
Shoes: Leather with leather soles
Square toed, chunky or rubber-soled shoes will dismantle the appearance you have worked so hard to achieve. Opt for black or brown brogue or wing-tip lace up shoes and treat yourself to a shoeshine beforehand.
Belt: Subtle and leather
Your belt should be the same color leather as your shoes and compliment your suit, shirt and tie. Opt for a skinny belt with a classic buckle, nothing too loud or distracting.
Socks: Solid, Calf-length
Ensure your socks are long enough to not show any calf while you are sitting. Go for a solid color and always match your socks to your pants, not your shoes. (If they match your shoes, your legs will appear short.)
Bag: Classic, Leather
A leather briefcase or bag is a great way to make an impression. Slightly worn in exudes character and beat up exudes inappropriate. Include a notepad, extra resume and a good pen (no plastic) and don't forget some gum... which you will spit out before your interview.
Keep it unpretentious and classic. If you can match the wristband to your shoes and belt, even better.
- Keep an extra shirt and tie in your car in case you spill something and have to change.
- Drop your suit at the cleaners beforehand so everything is freshly pressed
- No pocket square, keep your look clean and minimal
- Wear little or no jewelry (watch and wedding ring are enough)
- Get a haircut beforehand in a neat, professional hairstyle
- Limit the aftershave
- Neatly trimmed nails
- Be nice to the receptionist!