No matter what position you're applying for, your physical appearance matters a great deal in a job interview. This is, after all the very first impression managers get of you. And that ultimately becomes sort of the thesis you put forth regarding your personality and accomplishments -- everything that follows is just supporting material for that initial assertion.
So make it good, unless you want to spend the next hour sweating away trying to convince the guy on the other side of the desk that you are, in fact not as you appear. Follow these easy job interview appearance tips to boost your looks so they're worthy of the top-notch pro you really are.
Don't Cheap Out on Your Hair
You may go to BoRics or Supercuts most of the time for your haircut, but this isn't the time for such scrimping. It doesn't matter how great your outfit, if your hair isn't doing anything for your face, your style will fall flat in a job interview. And your personality will probably end up similarly lifeless without the confidence boost. So be smart -- spend the money on a more experienced pro to do your hair. If you're used to $12.00 haircuts, the cost of the good stuff may shock you. But trust me, it's an investment in your professionalism that will pay back handsomely.
Replace the Ragged Stuff
Got any of those nasty dress shirts with yellow stains under the armpits? Yuck. Toss 'em right in the trash. Granted, you're probably not going to take your jacket off in a job interview. But you still know those nasty spots are there. And it stunts your opinion of yourself and sabotages your confidence. You're worth the good stuff. And that goes for socks, undies, and whatever else you're putting on. This is the big game. Spend a few bucks to do it right.
Suits don't go out of style all that quickly, especially for men. But nonetheless, you shouldn't expect to hang on years and years with the same one. Yeah, suits can be pricey. But you don't have to buy the best for a job interview. Just get one that's all wool, decent construction, and in appropriately conservative colors like navy, black, or gray. Watch the sales. If you shop carefully and buy ahead of time when you can be patient, you can usually see $500 suits for around half that. (June is typically a great month for suit sales.) Again, it's an investment that will quickly pay back.
Update With a Tie
If you absolutely can't afford a new suit, a great way to update on a budget is by pairing your old suit with a more contemporary new tie. To that add a fresh new dress shirt, send your old suit to the cleaners and you'll be surprised at how much more polished that six-year-old suit can look.
See Your Tailor
Maybe your body has changed (for better or worse) since the last time you pulled out your job interview suit. Or maybe you recently bought a set of suit separates that fit sort of okay off the rack. Whatever the case, bring your clothes to a tailor to have them fitted into precise shape to flatter your body. It's not really all that expensive, and the extra snap it adds to your look can make the difference. And while you're at the tailors, have them fix any rips, loose buttons, or pulled stitches. Such details can really make or break a first impression.
Cleaned and Pressed
You'll be amazed at what just sending things to the cleaners can do for your appearance and confidence in a job interview. Clothes that are cleaned and pressed are sharper, crisper, and way more professional. Get your dress shirts professionally cleaned too, rather than trying to do them yourself. It only costs a couple bucks and it looks a lot better. It also saves you time and stress fussing with ironing.
Don't miss this key detail. Whip your shoes into shape so they pop. It doesn't take but a second and it costs practically nothing. And it can make an important difference as you meet and greet the interviewer; he's unconsciously taking in all the details about you, and this can be a big one for some managers.
Do Your Best, Smile, and Forget About How You Look
Follow these tips, do your best, and then don't give it another thought. You want to look your best. But whatever your appearance is like, smile and remember that a great personality can take much of the attention off your looks in any job interview.
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