The way you present yourself physically creates a lasting first impression to interviewers. You should appear professional so you can show potential employers that you can positively represent their company. Here are a few tips to help you polish your outward appearance for your next job interview and impress prospective employers.
1. Personal hygiene – Don’t roll out of bed and run off to an interview. Make sure you take the time to shower and attend to your personal hygiene. Your hair should be clean, combed, and follow your everyday style, and don’t forget to brush your teeth. The last thing you want to do is knock over the interviewer with bad breath.
2. Facial appearance – Men, trim your facial hair appropriately or shave it all off. A three-day beard just looks unkempt, and interviewers may wonder if you’ll always look shaggy. Women, wear natural-looking makeup, not the glamorous night club look. If you need a touch up, do it before the interview in the restroom. Don’t reapply your lip gloss or buff your nose in the middle of the interview.
3. Limit perfume and cologne – Some people are allergic or highly sensitive to fragrances. So, limit the amount of perfume or cologne you use when meeting new people. Or better yet, don’t wear any at all. You don’t want to distract your potential employer by drawing attention to how you smell instead of your qualifications.
4. Dress to Impress – Plan ahead what you’ll wear, and take time to make sure it is in good condition. Make sure your clothes are clean, tidy, and pressed because wrinkles, stains, and odors aren’t impressive. Shine your shoes if they’re dull, and clean them if they’re dirty. You don’t want to wear anything torn or ragged, because you’ll be sending a non-verbal message to the interviewer that you don’t care.
A lot goes into preparing for an interview: researching the company, practicing answering interview questions, thinking of questions to ask the interviewer. But don’t neglect your appearance. You are the first thing employers will see, so make that first impression positive by looking the part.
One tip that has helped me out in the past is to ask someone I know who works at the company what type of dress code is the norm around the office. Sometimes it can help just to call the company and ask the secretary or switchboard operator if you don’t know someone already working there.
That way, you can dress one level above the norm and make sure you’re still impressive but in-tune enough with the company to know if it’s not a suit-and-tie type place.
Or on the other end of the spectrum, if it is a highly polished place and everybody will be decked to the nines, you don’t want to show up in capris or a polo.
Before you go on a job interview, google the company you are going to. Learn about the company before you walk in the door. Many employers are impressed with your knowledge of their company.