Do Looks Matter in IB

Intern in IB - Ind

It seems like all the bankers (Analysts/Associates) I've seen on info sessions or LinkedIn are fit, tall, and generally good looking. I'm short and not fit/skinny. Any thoughts on how look affects how you are perceived in an office setting or is it all just in my head?

Comments (57)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Jul 2, 2020

You being shorter and out of shape has nothing to do with you being Asian. Stop saying stupid shit like that and making the rest of us look bad. People will "take you more seriously" when you take yourself seriously.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 2, 2020

Facts dude - same problem w some Indians on here smh

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 7, 2020

Gonna be honest as an Indian who had bad confidence, faking confidence is a great way to build real confidence.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Jul 2, 2020

Tbf can't help bring short, it's genetic and asians on average are smaller. However my MD is 5'5 and one of the most respected in his area; it definitely can be overcome, it's more just a first impression issue

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Jul 2, 2020

Did OP edit the post? I don't see any reference to being Asian.

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 2, 2020

I did edit the post. Didn't wanna trigger more Asians and make us "look bad". Anyways this gets at my original point the same.

    • 16
Jul 2, 2020

It's not in your head. Look around and see who is working at most of these places. It is a fact that interviewers will subconsciously (or consciously) prefer better looking candidates. Also, there are some anecdotal (maybe even proven) correlations between prep school/target school/finance and looks (smart/good looking parents begets smart and good looking children). There are some good posts on this written in the past that you should check out.

If you look at who is in PE it gets even more noticeable- almost every guy looks like he was captain of the lax team and the girls are bombshells who were the president of Kappa- nothing wrong with that in my opinion if that's who they want to hire. This exists everywhere in high society (with the exception of silicon valley/tech areas)- check out the people in the Hamptons and you'll understand.

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Controversial
Jul 2, 2020

Literally one look at the employee list of MF PE on LinkedIn proves this is a lie lol. Sounds like you just have low standards.

To answer the question OP, being attractive will definitely help, but you don't need to be "captain of the lax team" or "president of Kappa" to succeed. Being attractive is helpful and being ugly is harmful (not so many super ugly or deformed people in finance) but as long as you're somewhere within 2 standard deviations from average in looks you're fine. This doesn't mean you shouldn't strive to look as best as you can - looks do matter, but again as long as you're within the realm of "average" it won't be a huge influence one way or another.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 2, 2020

lol this guy must think leon black is so dreamy

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Jul 2, 2020

Accidentally gave you MS, but I agree with everything you said. Every time I go into the rabbit hole of looking at different megafund PE associates, at least half of them look like kids who would've been nerds is high school or college. If you want a job where success more highly correlates with looks look at successful guys in PWM or sales.

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  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Jul 2, 2020

You don't have to look amazing to succeed. but at a certain point it's about people liking you and you looking the part--not simply about how smart you are. We are all animals and have subconscious biases.

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Jul 2, 2020

Interested in posts about good schools means good looks.

Wouldn't say the PE thing is the case all the time. Have a specific firm in mind?

Regardless, have noticed that it's a building cycle. Good looking people get praised all their life and have more confidence, leading to more risky or brave things or more accomplishment, leading to success and so on

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

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Jul 2, 2020

All good points. If I could add something: maybe there is a correlation between looks and confidence and other social skills which are deemed valuable in a client-facing industry such as IB.

"...Needless to say, I did not get the offer."

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Funniest
  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Jul 2, 2020

As someone who is fit, tall, and goodlooking but not very smart - I vehemently disagree that my looks got me this job. It was my intelligence.

    • 36
Jul 2, 2020

You answered your own question, buddy. Attractive people are considered "better" by our subcounscious mind, thus they achieve status more easily. Also, a lot of rich parents teach their children the value of health, self care and presentation, and that carries over to the career.

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

    • 3
Jul 2, 2020

Very true for the most part, IB is filled with attractive people, it's easier and more comfortable for attractive people to network/interview. I do see some absolute beat shows slip in though so you still got a chance.

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Jul 2, 2020

Wait a second, I always hear everyone talking about how the girls in IB dno't care about looks and are not attractive generally. What are people saying now?

Bunch of guys who are just nerds and dorks in finance especially at more technical banks like Evercore and Centerview.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

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  • Intern in PE - Other
Jul 2, 2020

The girls in IB at the banks you mentioned are on the nerdy side, similar to the guys. I've noticed a lot of bombshells at BBs.

Jul 2, 2020

EBs require smarts, not good looks. BBs require poise and easier to wiggle way into. MMs have the less smarter but more fratty people so lots of hot soror girls coming there. Work at a MM / boutique and all the female bankers are models. For sure some bias going on here.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 2, 2020

Looks matter in every profession, not just IB. Generally if you have better looks people are more trusting and confident in you, as these traits often come with better looking people. With that said, and you still break mirrors, work on being more confident, charismatic, personable, and trusting. These go a long way to swing offers

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 2, 2020

If you're fat, it says something about you.

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Jul 2, 2020

I'm pretty buff but have a bit of a gut going on now, but I think my great hair makes up for it. I think I should be safe but if they were to cut me because of my declining midsection, I'd understand. If I start balding I'll save them the time and just quit myself.

    • 8
Jul 2, 2020

Of course looks matter

There are a lot of things that matter: intelligence, work ethic, presence, personality, charisma etc.

It's ok to not have everything on the list but you usually need at least a few and it's good to be near the top of your field at one of those things (looks is probably last on the list though)

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Jul 2, 2020

Prop Joe

    • 1
Jul 2, 2020

I'll reiterate looks matter you can't be ugly, but with that being said most people in IB are huge fucking nerds that spent most of their lives studying NOT fucking and believe me they look like it!

btw in case you were wondering I do indeed FUCK

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Jul 2, 2020

The girls on the Goldman Sachs sales team might as well be Murderer's Row. Happy 4th everyone!

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.

Jul 2, 2020

From personal experience, if you are strikingly beautiful as a female, it may work against you in certain cases because extreme alluring beauty can make the interviewer feel intimidated or make the interviewer think he won't be able to be in the same office as you are everyday without getting horny. Beauty coupled with an innate powerful sexual energy worked against me a few times in the past.

Array

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Jul 2, 2020

True statement, if you are too beautiful for me, I might wonder if you will distract me continuously to the point that I would just not be able to do business with you.

Had to actually face this decision in college when choosing between two women for a position

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

    • 1
Jul 2, 2020

I can't lie, there's something to be said for appearance. Looks can be very useful in garnering attention, it's just human nature. That said, I've worked with people who don't fit the mold and are just smart, capable and personable. They know how to market themselves, and get their work done. No matter size/shape, you can dress quite well - nice, neat, fitting properly. Don't go to the office looking like a schlepper. IB is more superficial than accounting. Just a fact.

Looks has always worked in my favor, TBH, and maybe I needed it because I'm not the smartest. I'm smart enough, but not superstar level. I'm ok with that. But with what you're talking about, I think it's something you can take care of without much effort. Get in shape, whiten your teeth, get a nice suit to interview in or for work that fits perfectly (I don't mean the most expensive, I mean make sure it's tailored). But more importantly, a friendly confidence and positive attitude, and doing a great job are key.

Don't focus on " everyone is better looking and taller" because you'll project that.

Jul 2, 2020
Shaynepunim:

Looks has always worked in my favor, TBH,

How do you know it hasn't backfired or just had no effect on people at all?

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.

Jul 2, 2020

I'm not diverse but can speak to looks mattering when recruiting. it's super important to wear the most expensive watch daddy's money bought so the recruiters know you have good taste, and flex the body you have in a tight suit so people know what's up. this will get you a job that will make u tons of money so you don't need to workout on ur own just get a body builder / trainer who will motivate you every step of the way. you can do this, king.

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Jul 3, 2020

Hey skinny boi, maybe go to the GYM and stop BITCHING on INTERNET FORUMS? What you can't gain in height you can gain in width, the healthy kind of width

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 3, 2020

yo i actually need a workout plan can you drop some website links

Jul 7, 2020

starting strength if you have access to equipment. if it were me, I'd do SS 3x a week and cardio 2-3x a week. swimmings the best, but running works and has less impediments

if no equipment, train like the SEALs do. https://navyseals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/n...
feel free to follow up with questions

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 3, 2020

OP said hes not fit/skinny. Prob chunky boi. Better to work on his diet first

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Jul 3, 2020

maybe if you have huge knockers and the MD is divorced

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 3, 2020

I do but I'm a man. Will this change things?

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Jul 3, 2020

That's cause everyone in IB can afford braces and a gym membership

Jul 3, 2020

back office for you!

Jul 4, 2020

Yes and no. Business is all about selling yourself and your firm. How do you expect a MD to put you in front of a client if you come in with bad hygiene, purple shirt and orange tie! I grew up playing sports we always said, "Look good, feel good, and play good".

I think confidence is more important. If you your fat and confident, then so be it. But it's easier if you hit the gym and eat healthy.

Array

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 5, 2020

Looks matter, but if you groom well and dress well you should be fine. Study this stuff. Clip and file your fingernails, brush your teeth and use mouthwash and teeth whitener. Pluck/ trip your eyebrows. Study some men's fashion. Don't wear a black suit with a black tie. That looks horrible. Polish your shoes. Get clothes that fit. Get in the gym and try to get a better jawline. Everything matters. Also you don't have to be "great" with any of these things. The additive effect of doing these things to a moderate degree will have a huge effect on your overall appearance.

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Jul 5, 2020
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Jul 8, 2020
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 8, 2020