Our French editor, based in Paris, has written a little guide to what to wear to your finance interview in La Défense. For those who want to clothe themselves in the style of a French banker, we’ve translated it briefly below. In no circumstances wear a sage green tie. Unlike Serge Gainsbourg, you probably also shouldn’t smoke in or immediately before the event.
1. Forget Gordon Gekko
If you want to look like a French banker, you will need to dress conservatively. Avoid originality. Wear a black, dark grey, or navy blue suit. Don’t wear braces. Avoid very fitted jackets. If you’re a woman, avoid short skirts and talon-like fingernails.
2. Go easy on the coloured shirts
Fuschia shirts aren’t tolerated, very light pinks shirts are acceptable, however.
3. Avoid cleavage
A plunging neckline is not a good look for a French woman attending a finance interview.
4. Avoid tasteless green ties
Wearing a tie that’s ‘RATP green’ (the green favoured by the French public transport operator) would be to invite ridicule. You have been warned.
5. Don’t assume that because your boss is dressing down, you can do the same
One French recruiter warned that he often arrives to interview juniors in his weekend outfit (no jacket and tie, simply a jumper and shirt). However, candidates who copy his relaxed attire are penalized. You should always dress for the job you want – not the job you have, he warns.