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Myths or Rules for Job Interviewing and Your Appearance
After mastering the applications, resumes, and cover letters, the phone calls and emails for interviews and meetings start coming in. You’ve researched commonly asked interview questions and prepared your best quality responses. You’re caught up on the company history and values, and you have a good idea of what skills the hiring employer is looking for. You’ve studied acceptable body language and feel prepared to give your “A” game.
But there is still an uncertainty regarding appearance. How do you look your best for the interview?
There’s a lot of dogmatic answers on the web about how to dress for success during a job interview, and typically, the recommendations are oversimplified and seldom describe what your appearance tells the hiring manager.
This infographic will help you debunk some of the common appearance myths that go hand in hand with preparing for, and being successful in an interview. Whether you’re curious about the right hairstyle, facial expressions, makeup, or clothes, we can help give you an idea of what different appearances say to employers, and how it can help or hinder. This interview infographic will offer you helpful tips and statistics for bringing the best “you” to your future place of employment.
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JOB INTERVIEWING AND YOUR APPEARANCE
MYTHS OR RULES?
You’re preparing for a big job interview and you really want to build your “Wow!” factor to land the career of your dreams. You’ve studied common interview questions, learned about the company, and spent hours practicing your speech in front of a mirror. What’s missing? Taking the time and effort to look your best! There are many myths on dressing for interviews, and this infographic will help demystify the process.
MYTH #1 HAIR TRUTH
“Your hair must be in a tight updo to look professional.”
“You must have a clean/shaved face and short haircut if you want to get the job.”
While putting your hair in an undo is okay, it is not the only option for looking clean and professional. If you choose to leave your hair down, make sure it’s not flying in your face or covering your eyes.
No matter the hairstyle, it’s important to come across looking polished and prepared. Neat hair can say a lot about someone, such as their organizational skills and ability to play a certain role. For example, showing up with your hair all over the place could potentially tell your employer that you are lazy and unprepared.
For men, beards and longer hair are not necessarily off limits, they too just need to be trimmed and tidy. If rockin’ that beard is part of who you are, go for it, just do it with class. However, many men do feel more comfortable displaying a clean shaven look at their first interview. Many jobs involve communicating with the public, so image is important and employers look for that quality in the appearance you display.
The important part is making sure you wear your hair in a style that is comfortable for you so that you can be yourself and show your potential employer the great things about you.
- No wild or frizzy hair
- Style options for women include ponytail, bun, top knot, or French twist
- Keep beards and facial hair neat and trimmed
- Don’t play with your hair or beard during the interview
21% of all people interviewed make the mistake of playing with their hair and touching their face too much
MYTH #2 CLOTHES TRUTH
“Spending hundreds of dollars on nice clothing is the only way to land the job.”
While we all prefer to be hired based on our abilities and not how we look, clothes are an extremely important part of the interview process.
Often times, employers want to see that potential employees can be modest and respectful in their place of work by what they choose to wear. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank buying designer suits and Louis Vuitton shoes.
If you budget correctly, you can obtain a nice, professional wardrobe and still pay rent on time! The clothes you wear to an interview could likely depend on the type of job it is.
While most like to dress up no matter what-in order to make a good first impression, others may dress more casually if it was specifically stated in the application, etc.
- Avoid bright colors (a pop of color is fine, such as a bowtie)
- According to Forbes (2013), those who dress inappropriately or too informal can be seen as having a “casual” attitude about their work and authority. It can also be shown that they have a lack of concern about business etiqutte
- Men: Even if you cannot afford the elaborate suit, a nice button up and tie will do the trick.
- Women: A simple yet modest dress will impress your potential boss
Statistics have shown that when employers meet new people, 55% of the time the impact is by the way they dress, act, and carry themselves.
MYTH #3 MAKEUP TRUTH
“You’ve got to be attractive to get the job.”
“Wearing a ton of makeup is great because it makes you look super put-together.”
Pretty is as pretty does. While someone may be beautiful, they may not possess the qualities, skills, or personality that the employer is looking for. While employers do like seeing an intelligent and well put-together individual, it is unlikely that they would hire someone to do a job they were not qualified for just because they were attractive.
Many studies have been conducted on the psychology behind why women wear makeup. According to Psychology Today (2015), women feel more confident with the more makeup they put on.
In a study conducted on the relationship between lip color and facial attraction (2010), statistics showed that women with red lips were perceived as “more attractive” than those without.
When it comes to wearing eye makeup, studies showed that women who displayed a youthful and adolescent face were found to be more attractive than those with exaggerated eye makeup. During your interview, it’s important to make sure you look healthy and ready for the challenge ahead, but it’s also equally important to not overdo your makeup and let it disrupt the interview or bring unwanted attention.
- Adding natural color to your face will make you look healthy and young
- Too make makeup might be a deal breaker but it’s also not good to go completely without
- A tip for men and women is easy on the perfume and cologne. Although you may think you smell good, the interviewer might not be a fan and it can distract from the real purpose of the meeting
A study conducted by Princeton University showed that there is a 72% chance an attractive qualified person will receive a callback after an interview versus a 62% chance that an unattractive qualified person will receive a callback. By helping yourself look healthy and younger, you can up your chances of a job by 10%.
MYTH #4 EXPRESSION TRUTH
“Too much enthusiasm and facial expression will make you seem weird or desperate.”
Try not to tone down or curb your enthusiasm in your interview. You might think that being overly enthusiastic will make you look desperate and not give your employer the positive impression you were looking for, but that is far from the truth!
Potential employers love to see individuals with direction and passion. Nothing will convince them more that you are the one for the job than showing and telling them exactly what you want and hope for in the future.
Job coach Win Sheffield tells job seeking individuals that enthusiasm during your interview will essentially let the hiring manager know that you believe you deserve to work at their company (livecareer).
- Research the company and make sure you have learned enough information about them in order to converse with the employer
- Use positive body language like sitting up straight with your shoulders and head held high. This shows a type of confidence that hiring employers like to see
- Speak slowly, clearly, and carefully so that you can be understood
- Smile. It’s that simple!
First impressions are incredibly important because 33% of bosses state that they know within the first 90 seconds of interviewing whether or not they will hire an applicant.
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