City Jobs: Interview advice for male graduates


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David Rose, from the blog Finance and Business Review, has written a guest post for us all about dressing for an interview in the city. Read below to find out his thoughts on how to dress for a corporate role and take a look at his blog for more advice on finance and business.

You’ve landed the interview. Now, what to wear? For any interview, first impressions are everything. It’s absolutely crucial to pick the right interview outfit – arguably as important as doing background research.

The art of the successful interview comes from finding that fine balance between getting your personality across and fitting into your prospective new work environment. The right clothes can leave your competitors floundering at the first post.

Let’s start with the suit, as it is probably the most important aspect to get right. Generally, you’ll want to go for something dark grey or navy suit, as this covers all bases. In terms of jacket fit, the slimmer the better, but not so you can’t breathe. If you don’t have an ‘off the hanger’ physique, always have your new suit altered – you’ll be astonished the difference a perfect fit can make to how you look and feel.

If you’re on the slimmer side I’d suggest you go for a more tailored fit.

When it comes to your jacket you don’t want the length of the sleeves going past your knuckles when both arms are down by your side. Ideally your sleeves should sit half way between your knuckles and wrist. A single breasted jacket works well in most interview situations (double breasted can look a little too formal).

Your suit trousers should always match your suit jacket and should fit you perfectly so you can sit comfortably throughout the interview.

In my opinion the most important aspect of your interview outfit is the shirt, as it can leave you in a fluster if it your shirt is too tight on the day. It’s crucial that you have a well fitted shirt for this occasion so you don’t feel self-conscience in anyway. You’ll also need to be able to do up the top button as it’s always best to wear a tie to a job interview (tip: if you’re in between two sizes, go for the bigger option as it will be more comfortable). A double cuff shirt is a great option for an interview as you can show your personality with your cufflinks – just avoid any novelty versions.

Generally, it’s better to stick to a plain shirt colour so it doesn’t distract your interviewer from looking at you. A plain white shirt is a classic option, but a pale blue shirt means business, so select your colour palette accordingly. To finish off your outfit accessorise your plain shirt with stylish tie, skinny stripes or small polka dots are ideal. Keep your tie option tasteful at all times – cartoon or novelty ties are not acceptable for an interview. Opt for a tie that reflects your style; wear a wide tie if you prefer a traditional look or a slim tie for a contemporary feel – but always tie your tie with a Windsor knot. (Tip: you can watch the T.M.Lewin tie tutorials here).

Now it is time to think about the finer details of your outfit – your pocket square, belt and socks…

If in doubt wear a plain white handkerchief, but if you are more confident with your sartorial style then pick out a colour from your tie and find a hank that suits it.

With your belt and socks keep it simple for an interview – stick to black or grey socks and a plain black belt. You should also wear plain black shoes to match your belt, as this will work well with any suit.

Some of the details above may seem pedantic but attention to detail is important in this extremely competitive and fragmented job market could make all the difference.

The advice I’ve given here ifs for all you chaps hoping for a career in a company that requires you to wear a suit on a daily basis, but do adjust this accordingly if you’re going for a role in a more creative industry.

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