How Important Is Appearance During a Job Interview

How Important Is Appearance During a Job Interview

It's no secret that people judge you on your appearance. And during a job interview, appearance is more important than ever. Learn more about why your appearance matters and what you can do to make sure your appearance has the right impact on a hiring manager.

The Importance of Clothing

Everyone knows that there's more to a person than what meets the eye. However, there's no getting around the fact that your appearance is someone's first impression of you. When you go in for a job interview, the first thing a hiring manager sees is your appearance. They'll judge you before you open your mouth and before you have an opportunity to show how much value you can offer the company.

For that reason, your appearance matters. A hiring manager is unlikely to judge you based on the color of your hair or the shape of your chin. But they are likely to judge you on your outfit. If you don't look professional, you're starting off on the wrong foot. The way you dress should show the world that you're confident and that you care.

With that said, you don't need high-quality clothing or shoes. For instance, a hiring manager doesn't expect you to wear a designer suit to your interview. Instead, they just expect you to dress in a way that's job-appropriate. They want to know that you put time into your outfit and that you care about how the world perceives you.

Will Clothes Get You a Job Offer?

The purpose of a job interview is for a hiring manager to find out if you're a good fit for the company. During an interview, the interviewer wants to know the following:

You're serious about the job

You have the right values and attitude

Your experience, education, and skills meet the needs of the position

You know how to carry yourself in a professional manner

Obviously, your appearance doesn't tell an interviewer all of the above. But appearance does help you build a strong case. Sometimes, several candidates for a job have similar experience and education. When this happens, the hiring manager relies on things like their first impression to make a hiring decision. If you dress for success, you're more likely to make a positive impact and get the job offer.

Ultimately, an employer won't hire you because you dressed well. But your appearance could be one of the several reasons you receive a job offer. It might be why you have a chance at a second interview or why a hiring manager feels you're more capable than another applicant.

What Does Your Appearance Tell a Hiring Manager?

What exactly does your appearance tell an employer or hiring manager about your abilities and personality? There are several things a hiring manager can infer from the way you look:

Your Judgment Skills

No matter what industry you work in, you need to make decisions. A hiring manager wants to know that you're capable of making decisions, and that means you need to have good judgment. Your interviewer makes assumptions about your judgment based on how you look.

For instance, an applicant could go to a job interview for a high-level position wearing shorts and a polo. Unless the company has a very casual atmosphere, the choice to dress accordingly was a bad one. It would indicate that the applicant has poor judgment and may not be the best person for the job.

How Professional You Are

Every workplace has certain standards and expectations of professionalism. If you don't dress well for an interview, it shows the interviewer that you don't know how to be professional. They may doubt your ability to communicate professionally, conduct yourself properly, or represent their company.

Dressing well shows the hiring manager that you are aware of the standards and respect them. If you're not sure what looks professional, ask a friend or colleague for advice.

You Have Confidence

When people dress well and feel good about their appearance, they feel more confident. Think about the last time you wore a new outfit that you loved. Did you walk around with a strut in your step?

If you feel good about your appearance during the interview, your confidence will match your outfit. And when you're confident, the hiring manager assumes you're capable. Try on different outfits and pay attention to how you feel. When you feel great about yourself, you know you have the right outfit.

Respect Matters to You

When someone dresses inappropriately or thoughtlessly for an interview, they send a message. And that message isn't a good one. Improper attire or poor grooming says that you don't respect the position or the company. Before you go into an interview, ask yourself if you're showing the hiring manager enough respect.

How Should You Look?

If you have an interview coming up, spend some time thinking about your appearance. Consider getting a haircut and shaving facial hair. Then, go through your closet and look through your clothes. If you don't have an outfit suitable for the occasion, head to your favorite store and shop for a new interview outfit.

Be sure to dress for the job. If you apply for a job with a laid-back and casual company, don't show up in a tuxedo or ballroom gown. Likewise, if you apply for a job with a company that has a strict dress code, don't show up in casual clothing. If you're not sure how to dress, ask your contact from the company about the dress code. You may also be able to find information about the dress code online.

Finally, don't forget that your appearance includes your smile. A hiring manager wants to see that you're pleasant and excited about the job. You should show up with a smile on your face and display enthusiasm. All of your efforts could lead to a job offer.

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