Back in the glory days of college, I had the long hair don’t care with a full beard look going full throttle. But I couldn’t figure out why I had trouble landing internship opportunities. Then reality hit me that your appearance matters. People are going to judge you by what they see, whether you, and most of the times they, like it or not!
The first part of this three-part series dealt with getting your foot in the door of your job interview via your resume. Now we are dealing with surviving the first few moments of your interview! Let’s look at why your appearance matters in interviews and what you can do about it in this week’s post!
Hard wire the following sentence into your brain. First impressions are everything!
Within seconds of walking through the door of your interview, employers make their decision on whether or not you’re still a candidate for the job only by judging what you display. From walking in, greeting everyone, and sitting down, they have thoroughly observed the intricate details of your appearance. One slip up and your name is crossed out instantly! Whatever you say after is meaningless. Your appearance turned employers away and you won’t get the job, period.
The issue is that everyone and every company has their/his/her own preferences or set of appropriate “standards”. I’ve had the opportunity in my life to talk to a few hiring managers to see what their pet peeves are.
One particular old-timer stood out the most. This manager was mid-sixties, military raised and had a very strict standard for men’s appearance where he managed. If a male arrived at a job interview with any facial hair or head hair touching his ears, it was an automatic pass on the job opportunity!
Sounds strict doesn’t it? Sometimes its better to be safe than sorry.
What To Wear?
For men, I’m your go-to guy! Since I have no experience with women’s clothing in general, I’d suggest Google as a reliable option to see what to wear for interviews.
As far as menswear for interviews, do the following:
- Spend the money on a well fitted, tailored suit (see post on the perfect suit on a budget).
- Make sure your suit is navy or charcoal in color with little to no patterns.
- Wear a white, long-sleeve button up dress shirt (no other colors; not even light blue).
- Colored tie with minimal designs.
- Brown or black polished dress shoes. Match the belt accordingly if you decide to wear a belt.
- Please no sport socks; dress socks only! Don’t want to see a Nike logo or your superman/batman socks when you’re sitting down.
- Only accessory should be a silver, black, or brown watch (the smaller the face, the better). Also, try to match watch’s strap with the color of your shoes and belt (unless it’s a silver watch).
For both men and women, dress as sharp as possible! However, this doesn’t mean to over accessorize! It may become distracting and cause employers to lose focus on your actual interview. You want employers to picture the best possible you for when they bring up your name for further consideration!
Grooming (Especially For Men)
I’ve really never seen women have an issue with grooming in interview settings. This mainly applies to all of the fellas out there. Now that your outfit is on point, check off these grooming tips to tie your appearance together:
- If you have piercings, remove them for the interview.
- Clean shave your face before your interview.
- If you decide to keep some facial hair, make sure it is neat, trimmed, and lined up nicely. Shave everything else on your face clean.
- Hair should be shorter on the sides and fixed up to look nice and neat.
- Pet peeve of mine (and I think most people) is when men’s nose or ear hair hang out to join the interview! Make sure it isn’t visible.
One final note to remember is that the better you look, the more confidence you’ll have going into your interview! And confidence is key in first impressions. Hope you all enjoyed part two of the three-part series! Stay tuned for the final post on mastering your interviews! Don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“Dress like you’re going some where’s better after.”
Book of the Month: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey