You submitted your resume and cover letter and you’ve been selected for an interview. Now is your time to shine and show your interviewer that you’re the best person for the job. One element many people overlook when preparing for an interview is their appearance. You only have one chance to make a first impression, and your attire and grooming can be the difference between getting the job or not. Keep these tips in mind when deciding on what to wear and how to fine-tune your appearance.
Good grooming shows the interviewer that you value your appearance and have a professional attitude towards the job, especially if the position involves working with customers. Keep your hairstyle basic and avoid any funky colors or drastic looks that might detract from your skills. If your hair skills leave something to be desired, you might want to make a trip to a salon beforehand for a professional cut and style. If the job is especially appearance based, you may even consider a facility like New Generation Hair for hair loss therapy. Some employers do not permit facial hair, while others have certain standards for length and style. Err on the side of caution and give yourself a clean shave. If you insist on keeping your facial hair, ensure that it is neat and not scraggly. Have clean fingernails at an acceptable length. Ladies, avoid any designs or brightly colored nail polish.
Your piercings might be part of your daily appearance, but they may not belong in the interview. Depending on the job, you may want to remove visible piercings and wear clothing that covers tattoos. Piercings and tattoos are not always acceptable in every professional workplace and can hurt your chances of getting the job. The National Association of Colleges and Educators (NACE) discovered in their Job Outlook 2006 survey that body piercings and tattoos had at least some influence in hiring decisions. 74 percent of employers felt that piercings slightly or strongly influenced their decision, while 75 percent felt the same about visible tattoos. While the workplace is slowly moving toward acceptance of tattoos and piercings, it’s still something you want to keep in mind.
When it comes to scent, less is better. Overpowering fragrances can irritate others’ allergies. Apply your cologne or perfume very lightly and select a scent that is low-key. You can also skip it entirely. Women should stick to neutral shades of lipstick and save the bright eyeliner for a night on the town. Limit jewelry to a maximum of two rings, one bracelet and maybe a necklace. Wearing too much looks excessive and hurts more than helps your chances of getting hired.
Nerves are high before an interview, but ensuring your appearance is fine-tuned should settle your anxiety a little. Feel confident in your skills and appearance, and know you’ll make a better impression than if you skipped over these small, but essential details of preparation.