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To nail an interview, there is a proven strategy for success, as we showed in our series “The Perfect Job Quest”. One aspect covered in this series is the attire in which one should attend an interview, which got me thinking… While the suit and tie goes without saying, is there a way that you can wear your tie that will help elevate your chances?

The Simple Knot – The Four in Hand knot

The most popular knot is by far the ‘four in hand’, which is worn by gentleman around the world. No other knot compares for simplicity and functionality. Its name is derived from the famous club with which it shares its name and the knot is believed to have been developed at said club.

Four in Hand KnotHow to do the knot:

  • Place the tie with the wide end on the right hand side of your neck and the small end on the left.
  • Run the tie around your neck so that the thin end stops slightly above your belly-button.
  • Take the thick end and move it left so that it crosses the thin end
  • Take the thick end under the thin end and pull it to the right
  • Take the thick end and cross over the knot to the left
  • Thread the thick end up and under the knot then pull it down through the loop you have just created on the front of the knot.
  • Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up and adjust.

The Everyman’s tie knot – The Half Windsor

The half Windsor is the next knot I would recommend for an interview; it is perfect for a shirt that has a wider collar than would suit the four in hand. The half Windsor is a nearly symmetrical knot that is professional and clean, it works best with a normal to wide tie and is relatively easy to tie.

Half Windsor KnotHow to tie:

Place the tie with the wide end on the right hand side of your neck and the small end on the left

  • Run the tie around your neck so that the thin end stops slightly above your belly-button – this might need to change depending on the length of tie
  • Cross the wide end over the thin end and then pass it underneath the narrow end
  • Take the wide end, which is now on the right, and loop it up and over the tie knot
  • Tuck the wide end of the tie down through the loop behind the knot and away to the left
  • Pass the wide end over the top of the narrow tie from left to right
  • Pulling smartly across the front of the knot take the wide end and pass it up and under the loop around your collar and then push the wide end down through the loop you have created at the front of the knot
  • Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end
  • Slide the knot up and adjust.

The Boss’s knot – The Windsor

A symmetrical triangular knot that is impressive as it is simple, the Windsor knot has been a fashion staple for generations as well as being the knot of choice for power dressers who appreciate the larger knot as it creates a greater visual impact. The knot is thought to be named after the style that the Duke of Windsor preferred, however it was later revealed that the Duke preferred a four in hand knot, but used wide ties which created a symmetrical triangular knot very similar to the Windsor knot.

Full Windsor KnotHow to tie:

  • Place the tie with the wide end on the right hand side of your neck and the small end on the left.
  • Run the tie around your neck so that the thin end stops slightly above your belly-button – this might need to change depending on the length of tie
  • Pass the wide end of the narrow end (from right to left)
  • Thread the wide end upwards and under the knot you have just created (left to right)
  • Pull the wide end back down and left over the knot (right to left)
  • Loop the wide end under the narrow end underneath the knot (left to right)
  • Pull the wide end up and over the loop around your collar and thread through behind the knot and pull the wide end away to the right (right to right)
  • Pass the wide end from right to left over the front of the knot
  • Thread the wide end up and underneath the loop around the collar (on the left hand side)
  • Push the wide end down through the loop created at the front of the knot
  • Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end
  • Slide the knot up and adjust as desired

The Showoff/Eye catcher – The Eldridge

The fabled Eldridge, the king of knots, is among the most difficult knots to tie and adjust correctly. There are 15 separate moves to create this eye catching and rarely seen knot. I would rarely recommend going for the Eldridge for an interview, however due to its unusual appearance it can be a helpful ally. You will be remembered, the rarity of this knot can pretty much ensure it as it will be noticed and will be a talking point. Yet the line between impressing and showing off is thin and narrow at the best of times, so you must make a judgement about whether you want to risk appearing too flamboyant. I would recommend using it only for the first interview or group stage, where standing out and being remembered is the critical difference between those who get the job and those who do not.

Eldridge KnotHow to tie:

  • Start with the wide end of the tie on the left and the small end on the right. The wide end should be about 1” below your belly button.
  • Put the thin end over the wide end to the left.
  • Under the wide end and to the right.
  • Take the thin end up to the center, towards neck loop.
  • Thread through the neck loop and pull the thin end up to the left.
  • Cross the front with the thin end, pulling it away to the right. Then up thread it nto the neck loop from beneath.
  • Push the thin end down to the left and pull it around the back of the wide end of the tie so that it ends on the right.
  • Bring the thin end back across the front towards the left and thread through the loop created by the previous step.
  • Pull the thin end left to tighten.
  • Push the thin end up to the center, towards the neck loop. The thread down through the neck loop and away from the knot to the left.
  • Thread up to the center, towards neck loop. Down through the neck loop and to the right. Keep this part loose.
  • Cross the front with the thin end over to the left and through the loop made in the previously.
  • Pull the thin end towards the left to tighten the knot as wished
  • Tuck the thin end behind neck loop on the left hand side.
  • Congratulations!

So there you have it the four tie knots that rule the majority of the western world. Practice young grasshopper and you to shall be a tie master before you know it!

By Sam Adam Smith, The unbeaten tie tying sensei #3PG

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