Back To Career News

What Your Job Interviewer Won’t Tell You About Grooming Faux Pas


One of the toughest things about being a human is that we never really know how we look. One of the toughest things about being a human on a job interview is that you never know how the interviewer would prefer you to look.

Shauna C. Bryce over at has a few tips on how to avoid grooming faux pas that will cost you the job. Here were the ones that struck me the most (plus, one from my own job interviewing history):

1. Don’t Stink

Most of us shower and put on deodorant before an interview. But do you then put on a lot of perfume or cologne, or chain-smoke your way to the interview? If so, you’re undoing all the good you did by bathing. Not to mention, some people are allergic to smoke and scent, so you might be distracting your interviewer or possibly endangering their life. Not exactly the way to get hired.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

2. Don’t Have Distracting Facial Hair

Some people will tell you that it’s always better to be clean-shaven, but if you can’t part with a hard-grown beard, make sure it’s neat, tidy, and again, not distracting. Now is not the time to debut your old timey strongman from the circus mustache.

3. Know That a Lot Depends on the Place You’re Interviewing

Way back in the stone age, I met with a recruiter who told me flat out that no one would hire me with a nose ring. Chagrined, I took it out for my next five or six interviews. When I finally got hired, it was after I’d given up and put it back in. The internet company that hired me couldn’t care less about the facial hardware — in fact, it might’ve been in my favor. (This was the early 2000s, when you didn’t have to have full-sleeve tattoos to be cool.)

The bottom line is that you’re always better off assessing the vibe of the place you’re interviewing ahead of time. If they’re a suit-and-tie kind of place, get ironing. If they’re more casual, try to a strike a more comfortable — but still professional — vibe.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Have you ever decided not to hire someone based on grooming? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

More from PayScale

What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview

7 Confessions of Job Interviews Gone Wrong

3 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

World Beard

(Photo Credit: Ayleen Gaspar/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.