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Old 01.02.2013, 16:04
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Internship interview (dress code et al.)

Hello fellow EFers,

I was hoping that you could share some precious advice. Please don't judge me for opening a new thread, when there are many similar ones, because every case has its differences and I also hope to attract more interest this way.

I am finishing my studies at ETH and I was invited for an internship interview at a well-established investment company. This will be my first interview and I have no idea what to expect. Firstly I am unaware of the dress code for such situations. Since this is an investment company, I thought that a suit would be required, and I was planning to wear one, but with no tie. Are there any other alternatives to that?

In any case I'll have to buy the necessary clothes for the occasion and I was hoping that you could suggest a place or two in Zurich where I could buy something at a reasonable price. I'll have to buy the whole gear (i.e. shoes and shirt as well) so it's important for me to minimize the cost. Will I find formal clothing at places like Massimo Dutti, Zara, etc? Is there a discount store for my needs, or a shop that rents suits by the day?

Apart from that, what should I expect at the interview? The position involves programming (not strictly IT though), so I should expect at least some technical questions right?

Sorry for just throwing a bunch of questions and hoping to get replies, but at this point EF is my last resort . Thanks in advance
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Old 01.02.2013, 16:37
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

I don't know if this works as well here, but in the US, I would go by and "scout" the company first. Walk into the office lobby, look around, etc. to see what the corporate "dress code" was, people's body language, etc. While reading the company website, wikipedia, etc etc is great, nothing beats a little first-person look. Once you know a little more, you can determine if a tie would be appropriate, but when in doubt, I'd go with a nice, conservative 2-piece, with a simple shirt and a nice tie.
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Old 01.02.2013, 16:54
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

Keep it simple - and it is far better to overdress for an interview than underdress.

- plain dark suit* (charcoal grey, dark blue, black - no strong pattern)
- black shoes - well polished
- black belt
- black socks - not dark grey due to excessive washing
- white shirt - freshly pressed with collar bones in place.
- tie (with a good knot**) - nothing too loud, strong patterned etc



* Don't go too fashionable with the cut. Stick to flat front trousers, single breasted, 2 button; make sure the length is right and that it is the right fit. Don't buy a suit the wrong size because it is on sale

** Half-windsor is the "compromise" knot - it should give a good shape to the tie and is fairly easy to learn. The tip of the tie should be at your belt buckle. And under no circumstance should you wear a red tie!
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Old 01.02.2013, 17:06
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

What dodgydude said.

..also, take it easy on cologne. I know that you young whippersnappers love to douse yourselves with 1 million and (insert trendy metrosexual cologne fashionable at the moment)...but this is a no-no. If you do use cologne, go with a subtle fresh scent, with minimal sillage (yes people, I gots vocab)..meaning, something that doesn't project all too well and remains in your intimate zone.
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Old 01.02.2013, 19:46
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)



And remember, before any final, always take a pre-game dump.
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Old 01.02.2013, 20:44
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

Thanks for all the replies.

I have never worn anything close to a suit and it will be quite of a mental challenge to accept myself in the mirror

I am on a very tight schedule (giving my last exam in a few days) to visit the company as Jobsrobertsharpii suggested, but scouting the company on the internet surely indicates that they are on the very end of the formality scale. Still I am thinking against wearing a tie, since I don't know how to make a proper knot (not even the simplest one) and this is only an internship position.

So ermm could you suggest a place or two at Zurich where I can buy what I need? Which is pretty much everything that dodgyken suggested. And as I already mentioned I can't afford to spend a fortune (or anything near it) right now. Thanks again
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Old 01.02.2013, 20:49
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

CANDA will have it all at a price you can afford.

Wear a tie unless you dont really want the job its not hard. Find someone to show you how to tie like a salesperson and then leave it tied up to slip into position.
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Old 01.02.2013, 20:52
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

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Thanks for all the replies.

I have never worn anything close to a suit and it will be quite of a mental challenge to accept myself in the mirror

I am on a very tight schedule (giving my last exam in a few days) to visit the company as Jobsrobertsharpii suggested, but scouting the company on the internet surely indicates that they are on the very end of the formality scale. Still I am thinking against wearing a tie, since I don't know how to make a proper knot (not even the simplest one) and this is only an internship position.

So ermm could you suggest a place or two at Zurich where I can buy what I need? Which is pretty much everything that dodgyken suggested. And as I already mentioned I can't afford to spend a fortune (or anything near it) right now. Thanks again
If your budget is a concern, why not look for a rental? Most places will measure you and do a quick tailor to fit you, all you have to do is pay and pick it up on the day of your interview. Then you buy a suit once you a have a job and an income.

Or... if you have friends of a similar (I mean identical, a poor-fitting suit is the worst choice) build and measurement, see if you can borrow the necessaries.

Last choice, do you have a family member who might be willing to loan you the money for a suit, maybe as a "graduation present?"
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Old 01.02.2013, 21:06
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

@Wallabies: I can't google CANDA, could you provide me with a little more info?

@Jobsrobertsharpii: I do think about renting one (already mentioned it in my first post) but still don't know where to look. Could you suggest a place or two? The two other options are unfortunately not feasible at the moment.
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Old 01.02.2013, 21:38
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

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CANDA will have it all at a price you can afford.

Wear a tie unless you dont really want the job its not hard. Find someone to show you how to tie like a salesperson and then leave it tied up to slip into position.
Agree with Wallabies you need to wear a tie. I would try and buy rather than rent because surrey you are going to need it in the future.

Sorry, I haven't bought anything like that in Switzerland.
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Old 01.02.2013, 21:56
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

Cant find their proper website in Switzerland however they are in the middle of Zurich close to rennweg tram stop.

If you can get to konstanz a suit will cost 70euros a shirt with tie around 20euros and decent shoes 25euros

In Switzerland a suit is probably 150CHF shirt 30CHF tie 15CHF

German website can be found bder www.cunda.de
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Old 01.02.2013, 21:57
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

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Cant find their proper website in Switzerland however they are in the middle of Zurich close to rennweg tram stop.

If you can get to konstanz a suit will cost 70euros a shirt with tie around 20euros and decent shoes 25euros

In Switzerland a suit is probably 150CHF shirt 30CHF tie 15CHF

German website can be found bder www.cunda.de
Brunos? (I think its called?) That came to mind to me also. I've always been afraid to walk in, as its on the Bahnhofstrasse and (I've assumed, my bad) expensive?
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Old 01.02.2013, 21:59
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Learn to tie a tie on YouTube. Seriously.
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Old 01.02.2013, 22:05
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

What about going to H&M, or C&A? They normally have some business attires as part of their regular collection.
Zara would also do I think.
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Old 01.02.2013, 22:06
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

@Sushi24601 It has already crossed my mind And will probably do so in the end
@Pernilleskokken C&A was also suggested by Wallabies. I didn't know it until now tbh, but will surely pay a visit now. Zara and H&A were already in my list

I'm really grateful for all the replies. I will probably hit the stores on Monday, so if anyone has to suggest another palce, either for renting or purchasing a suit, please do so. I knew EF wouldn't fail me
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Old 01.02.2013, 22:06
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

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What about going to H&M, or C&A? They normally have some business attires as part of their regular collection.
Zara would also do I think.
Also Coop City maybe? There is a Hugo Boss at SihlCity...
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Old 01.02.2013, 22:09
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

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Also Coop City maybe? There is a Hugo Boss at SihlCity...
I think that for now, brands like Hugo Boss are off target for me, unless there's a discount store somewhere.
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Old 01.02.2013, 23:51
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

I would strongly advise you to wear a tie - it will almost certainly be expected (based on the information you have provided about the position, it doesn't seem to be one of the 'creative' jobs where you can wander around in shorts and sandals).

For your price range, the best options are H&M, Zara, Mango (upstairs in the shop) and Massimo Dutti.

Mango is worth a quick look as they make good quality stuff, however there won't be much variety to choose from and the style/cut always strikes me as being for 40's and older.

H&M will almost certainly be your cheapest option. This is because they cut corners in production and for the cheaper suits use only the most shapeless, cheap and horrible fabrics. Only a model really looks good in one of the cheaper H&M suits.

Massimo Dutto (owned by the same parent company as Zara) make some really nice suits with great fabrics such as cashmere and merino wool. If you are on the skinny side, you will almost certainly need to get the diameter of the legs taken in however. The jackets fit great. Expect to pay at least CHF 300 (more likely 400), however with the right fit and some alterations, you could easily look CHF 2000.

Probably your best bet is Zara. Great cut (for 20s and 30s at least), great prices and great variety. As all the suits are in the same price range, it is really important that you check the labels for the fabric of the suit! Some of the 'fashion suits' tend to be 60/70% polyester and will turn shiny after a few wears, whereas often you can pick up a 100% superfine merino wool suit for just 20-30 CHF more!


Oh and a tip if you have enough time - shop online by zara and massimo dutti for the last of the sales - you might be able to grab a great bargain!

Good luck!


http://www.tie-a-tie.net/windsor.html
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Old 02.02.2013, 01:59
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

I could have just pressed thanks, but I feel obliged to post at least a quick reply when I get such detailed answers. Thank you all
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Old 18.04.2015, 20:07
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Re: Internship interview (dress code et al.)

Hello everyone! I am starting my internship at one of the UN agencies in Geneva and I was wondering if you know what is the dress code there.. I tried to look it up but no success any advice will be appreciated! Thanks
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