Will your appearance influence your job interview?

Interviews - 24 Feb 2021

Job interviews – the most exciting and scariest experience all at once. When you walk into an interview it is a given that your CV speaks for itself and your ability to sell yourself makes a major difference, but believe it or not, your appearance makes a massive difference in your interview as well. Even if you look great on paper, if you don’t dress appropriately for an interview, you give the impression that you lack self-respect and those you are meeting with. You also have only one chance to make a good first impression.

At the interview, your clothes, manners and mannerisms are all on display. Believe it or not, but within the first 60 seconds, all of these are assessed. It is always a good idea to keep the below in mind when it comes to your appearance on the day:

  • Read up about the establishment and make sure you dress according to their dress code. Have a look at the photos on their website and social media to get an idea of how formal the dress code. Pay attention to the gala events they hosted and dress accordingly. 
  • Wear clothes that are wrinkle-free, there is nothing worse than looking like you just climbed out of the washing basket.
  • Your hands are constantly on display – make sure your hands and nails are in a good condition.
  • Your hair is your crown. Make an effort with your locks.
  • Don’t overdo the perfume/cologne, or jewellery.
  • Clean shoes are a must! You don’t need new shoes, just take care of the ones you do own.
  • Don’t wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or will make you fidget. Wear something that makes you feel confident.
  • Tattoos and piercings are not necessarily everybody’s cup of tea, but there is no need to hide who and what you are. Just know that certain conservative workplaces (and many schools are still very conservative) will still judge you on your sweet ink or piercings. 
  • Leave your phone and iPod safely tucked away in your bag and ensure that it is on silent or off.

It is important to remember that your appearance is way more than the actual clothes and accessories you wear. It also includes communicating in the correct non-verbal way. Body language should always ooze professionalism and confidence. Always make sure that you have an open, pleasant facial expression and a firm greeting (watch out for handshakes due to social distancing restrictions). Always sit up straight, keep eye contact with your interviewers and avoid crossing your arms and exuding negative body language. For online interviews, stand and make eye contact with the camera and not the image of the person.

Always remember, just because you have secured the interview, doesn’t mean that you have secured the job. A poor impression can not only cost you a job but also cost you any further employment opportunities. Unfortunately, a book is very much judged by its cover, image is everything and perception is reality. Always keep this in mind!





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