How to Dress for a Finance Interview

It’s no secret that attire matters when it comes to forging ahead in the corporate world. A polished, self-assured ensemble can speak volumes about your professionalism while poor personal grooming can create unnecessary barriers between your potential and career goals.

According to a November 2012 survey by Harris Interactive, 60 per cent of hiring mangers suggested that a poor dress standard often prevented a promising candidate from securing a new role. This is magnified when it comes to client-facing industries such as finance, where the credibility associated with a sharp appearance can help a business maintain a competitive edge.

How to Dress for a Finance Interview

As the first point of contact with your new employer, a job interview is the perfect opportunity for embracing a sartorial strategy that allows you to shine. Here are four top tips to help you nail the interview and get the finance job of your dreams.

Invest in a quality suit

Although a sharply-tailored suit might take a toll on your wallet, it’s an investment that’s bound to pay off in time. Men should shy away from ill-fitting, off-the-rack options and think about purchasing a suit that’s altered in line with height and width – it’s a small difference that can have a big professional impact.

Christine Laprade, a Huffington Post fashion blogger and former finance industry personal stylist, recently advised that a suit should fit impeccably whether you’re a woman or a man. Above all, it’s important to keep faith in the old adage: dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Err on the side of conservative

When it comes to securing a job in finance, exercising caution is your best bet for getting ahead. Women should save the miniskirts for the weekend and favour more demure knee-length skirts and dresses while men should avoid long hair, tattoos, loud colours and make an effort to appear formal and restrained.

Keep it simple

Both genders should avoid flashy jewellery and loud clothing at all times. A job interview is a chance to prove that your image is in line with a company’s values – save the experimentation until you know where you stand. This attention should also extend to your accessories such as your watch and shoes. Make sure you polish footwear and steer clear of statement timepieces – your interview should be focused on your talent and experience, not your sartorial nous.

Iron it out

You’re sure to revise your hatred for ironing once you consider the impact of a crumpled shirt. A failure to dress crisply can imply a similar level of neglect when it comes to completing tasks and delivering projects – don an ironed business shirt to avoid that risk.

To nail a finance interview, it’s worth ensuring that your appearance paints the best picture of your professional aspirations, potential and career goals. If you make an effort to appear credible, focused and business-like then you are more likely to be taken seriously and become a worthy contender for your ideal finance role. For Career advice in Australia visit Robert Half Recruitment Sydney.

Neha Kale is a freelance writer and editor with more than six years’ experience in the media and finance industries. She has held senior editorial positions at various business and technology publications and specialises in online strategy, innovation, creativity and management best practices. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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