The final stage in the recruitment process for bank exams is typically the personal interview. Candidates who have reached this stage should justifiably be proud of themselves – however, they should treat the interview with due seriousness, as even small details can be a dealbreaker.
Chief among the points to remember for interview prep is how to dress. Professional attire and a well-groomed appearance create a good first impression on panel members and will likely tilt the balance in your favour. In this article, we share some key dressing and grooming tips for both male and female candidates to a bank interview.
Hair and beard
Hair should be well-trimmed and cut short or medium-length. Ideally, schedule a haircut a few days before the interview.
Hair products like gel or spray are optional, but can add a glossy appearance and keep flyaways in place. However, avoid using too much, as that can produce a sticky or unnaturally stiff appearance.
Your face should be either clean-shaven or feature a well-groomed, properly trimmed beard and/or moustache. Stubble is a strict no.
The go-to outfit for men should be a button-down shirt made from crisp cotton in a light colour such as white, pale blue or pale pink, paired with well-fitted dark trousers in shades like black, brown or navy blue.
If wearing a blazer, it should match the shade of your trousers. Be sure to invest in a well-fitting blazer, as a poor fit may spoil your entire look.
Ensure that your shirt, trousers and blazer are all free from patterns or textures of any kind.
Keep your shirt sleeves buttoned down to the wrist.
Wear well-polished formal leather shoes, preferably with laces. The colour should be either black or brown.
A leather belt matching the colour of the shoes is an important add-on.
If wearing a tie, keep it monochromatic or with a very minimalistic design. Choose one with a dark, saturated colour, such as deep violet rather than bright purple. Wear it so that it ends just above the belt.
Match the colour of your socks to either your trousers or your shoes.
Wear a leather-strap analog watch, not a digital or smartwatch.
Keep your nails trimmed and filed.
Carry a handkerchief with you.
Ensure that any tattoos are properly covered. Remove the rings from any piercings you may have.
If you wear rings on your fingers, either remove them or be prepared to answer questions about them.
Wear a mild deodorant to smell fresh throughout the interview.
Tie your hair back neatly in a ponytail or braid. You may use hair gel or spray to tame any stray hairs in front.
If your hair is shorter than shoulder-length, you may leave it open. However, be sure to comb and tame it well so that it looks sleek.
Makeup is optional, but a light application of makeup can enhance your overall look. Ideally, stick to an eyeliner/kajal and a nude lip shade.
Any additional makeup should only be applied if you are confident about how to handle makeup products, or it may end up looking clumsy.
Avoid any kind of loud, chaotic makeup.
Avoid wearing nail paint.
Female candidates have more options than male candidates when it comes to apparel, with both Indian and Western clothing acceptable.
A simple cotton saree can be worn, as long as it is neatly pleated and pinned at the appropriate places.
Simple salwar-kameez or kurta-leggings combinations can be worn, as long as they have minimal embroidery and fit well. Avoid any bright colours – opt for pastels or neutrals instead. If the kurta is collared, you need not carry a dupatta, otherwise a simple cotton one should be worn.
Female candidates can also wear shirts, trousers and blazers in the same fashion as described for male candidates above. They can also opt for a fitted skirt, but it should fall below the knee and not be too tight.
An analog wrist-watch should be worn, and no digital or smartwatches.
Earrings should be simple in design, preferably studs.
Ensure any neck accessories are not visible (concealed under your dupatta or tucked into your shirt).
Wear flat shoes, preferably with closed toes. You may also wear wedges with low heels.
Do not carry a handbag or purse that is too large.
Make sure any tattoos or body piercings are covered. You may wear a nose pin, but not a flashy one.
If you wear any rings on your fingers, either remove them or be prepared to answer questions about them.
Wear a mild perfume to smell fresh throughout the interview.
In short, the thumb rule when it comes to dressing for interviews is to keep it simple, choose muted colours and wear well-fitting, comfortable clothes. Elegant attire goes a long way in winning the interview panel over, so be sure to invest the necessary time to make yourself look neat and well-groomed before stepping into the interview room. All the best!
(Author Abhishek Patil is co-founder – Oliveboard, an online learning and assessment platform. Views expressed here are personal.)