Don’t worry: I’m not about to tell you that there’s a perfect hair length or a magical suit that all would-be hires must wear to their next job interview. However, the fact is that job interviews are (at least partially) about first impressions. So it behooves you to make sure your appearance is up to snuff before you head off to meet the person who will hopefully be your boss.
Robert Sanchez at Come Recommended offers a list of five tips for interviewees. All are worth a gander, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll just be looking at the ones that have to do with your outer appearance.
1. Dress well and groom yourself.
“Even if the work environment at the company is casual, do not dress sloppily,” writes Sanchez. “You will give the impression you do not care about the job. You do not necessarily have to wear a $1,000 suit, but you should be sure to dress one or two steps more nicely than current employees.”
He recommends researching the company ahead of time to see what’s appropriate in terms of dress. And no matter what, don’t forget basic grooming: take a shower, shave, wear deodorant, etc.
2. Keep your attitude in check.
Aim for confidence, not arrogance. Don’t discuss personal topics, unless asked. Keep your conversation focused on why you’d be a good fit for the job.
3. Display good social skills.
It probably goes without saying, but you shouldn’t eat in an interview, unless it’s a lunch interview. (Although Sanchez says it’s a good idea to take coffee or water, because it makes you look like a team player.) Don’t comb your hair or (shudder) clip your nails during the interview. Shut off your cell phone — and if you forget, and it rings, apologize.
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