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Dress Code

#1 Dress Code
31/10/2008 01:20


Hey there everyone,

Quick question about what to wear on interview days - do hirers really care how nice/expensive your suit is, as long as it's smart and you avoid anything gauche or silly (novelty cuffs, multi-coloured ties)?

Also, will not wearing a watch imply that I'm a poor time-keeper or lack a business-minded attitude? I'm quite skint at the moment, and don't have much money to spend on clothes, and my watch is broken and can't afford a new one!

I'm thinking a white shirt, blue tie and a cheap M&S suit...

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#2 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 06:25

fine to ras (#1)

Recruiters were once students themselves, they expect you to come in smart and presentable but brands are not important. Indeed, turning up in a ridiculously expensive suit is more than likely to raise eyebrows about your motivation as clearly mummy or daddy likes to spoil you.

Keep it clean, dark suit, reasonable tie (no novelty as you said), cufflinks if possible. Remember to polish your shoes too. These things aren't generally the difference between getting a job or not, but they form a good first impression which can stand you in good stead for the rest of the day.

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#3 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 08:56

mac to fine (#2)

And cut your fingernails.

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#4 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 08:59

Evil Consultant to fine (#2)

Hi Ras,

Fine's pretty much spot on here. Provided that you look presentable then the fact that your tie is not from Hermes is not going to be a minus point, but if you turn up dressed like the MD of Goldman Sachs then this could raise question marks.

One of the things that the recruiter is trying to work out is how they would feel putting you in front of a real client. Bearing this in mind, being a flash git is unlikely to endear you to them. Turn up looking neat and well presented. Look them in the eye as you introduce yourself and shake their hand firmly. Do these things and you'll give yourself the best chance of doing well. A bad first impression is hard to recover from.

Shoes - Must be black unless you're going to wear a brown suit (please don't unless it's a "creative" consultancy) and well polished.

Suit - Clean and presentable. Dark navy or dark grey is great.

Belt - Matching the colour of your shoes (i.e. black) if your suit needs a belt.

Shirt - Clean and recently ironed. I prefer double cuffs with cufflinks, but not having them is unlikely to be a negative. I prefer blue but white is absolutely fine.

Tie - Any sensible tie will do provided it doesn't clash with your suit or shirt.

Socks - When you sit down, these will be visible so wear a matching pair.

Watch - Personally, I rarely wear one so if I was interviewing you I wouldn't care. Your milage may vary.

Good luck.


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#5 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 09:23

ZB to ras (#1)

I agree with "Fine" and "Evil Consultant" about dress code. In fact, there is little to distinguish on first glance between cheap but well-tailored suits and expensive ones. The fit of the clothes makes a far greater difference to your appearance than their price. Where an expensive suit should pay off is in its longevity; not something you need to worry about for a few hours of interviewing.

A watch is not necessary and its absence will not be noticed as long as you can demonstrate reasonable time-keeping without it. For example:

- turn up to interview on time

- turn up to each event within an assessment day on time

- keep to time within time-bound tests

In all of these situations, you can usually get away with using the clock on your phone.

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#6 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 10:09

rahs to ZB (#5)

Wow, thanks so much - all really useful advice. Am new to this site, and very impressed with four really helpful comments in only a few hours. Thank you fine, mc, EC and ZB!

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#7 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 10:52

Casio to rahs (#6)

That can't be ZB!

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#8 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 13:22

sawrs to Casio (#7)

All interesting stuff...but are smart, laced leather brown shoes a real no-no (along with a black/grey suit)????

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#9 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 13:24

Mars A Day to sawrs (#8)

Brown leather shoes are for the country and the weekend and the daytime, not the city, not the week, not the evening and never ever the office.

Avoid black suits - horrible. Charcol grey or navy much better.

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#10 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 14:24

Bob to Mars A Day (#9)

You lot are dull dull dull...

Have some sense of personality or style. I love brown shows with a grey or brown suit. Very stylish.

Especially the Spanish and Italians like the look.

Bright coloured and patterned socks are coming in big time but probably not for interviews.

And relating to a comment further above: what do you mean "if your suit needs a belt"? I can think of nothing sillier (well, perhaps short sleeved shirt) than a suit without a belt.

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#11 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 14:38

Georgio Johnio Smithio to Bob (#10)

Don't take fashion advice off anyone called Bob who follows that crowd that thinks the Italians are the be all and end all of style.

Don't wear brown shoes. You look like an arrogant schmuck. Bob probably greases his hair back and has one of those little tufts of hair under his bottom lip, to try and look more italian.

Although I do agree that you should wear a belt.

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#12 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 14:50

mac to Georgio Johnio Smithio (#11)

Today I'm wearing brown shoes, brown belt, dark blue trousers and a blue/white/brown stripy shirt with plain silver cufflinks.

Good job I don't work in London - I'd be hunted down by the Mars style police!

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#13 RE: Dress Code
31/10/2008 15:01

DCF to mac (#12)

You should wear a belt to keep your trousers up if the trousers have belt loops - but decent suits do not have belt loops.

Mac, alternative careers beckon in car sales or high street estate agency (economy permitting).

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