The FACT is that Impressions counts in an Interview!
Grooming for Interviews
Take a look around you when you are at a shopping mall or a park and you will see that men, just like women are becoming more and more conscious of their appearances. Compared to even the previous generation, men today can be seen getting their nails done, getting facials done and spending more thought and money when it comes to fashion. Men today take just as much time as women, if not more, when it comes to grooming. With role models like George Clooney and Adam Levine, grooming and men's skin care has taken on a big huge turn.
Making an effort to look presentable when you go out pays when you are given a second look by the fairer sex. It is just as important to groom well when you go in for an interview, after all first impressions are lasting impressions.
I still remember the time I was interviewing a bunch of fresh graduate for an entry level position for my company. Most candidates were perfect for the role but what pushed the winners across was the way they groomed themselves. First impressions always counts and this remains a factual truth. If interviewers says that looks is not important and that credentials, experiences and technical skills counts more, they are probably kidding themselves and others!
I seriously mean it when I say impression counts! Firstly your credentials can be authenticated and there is no difference between one first class honours versus the other first class honours. Therefore, no real competitive advantage here if shortlisted candidates all have first class honours with reasonably reputable universities. Maybe the universities do count but they probably got filter off in the first round of screening.
Secondly, experiences is a very subjective assessment area. Candidates can have relevant experience and relevant experiences really just means staying long enough in a job function and company to know enough of the job jargons, work processes and work knowledge to qualify as experienced. As long as you know what you are talking about and can “smoke” it through. You will do well in this area. You can try to blow some horns and that is the un-assessable part. How can the interviewer do due diligence on what you says; how can they know how well you work as a team? How can they know how good you are in financial modelling? How can they understand how good you are at report writing and execution of action plans? They can’t. And they probably have to just take your word for it. Whether they believe you, is really a separate manner.
Lastly technical skills is even harder to assess; Passing an interview test on technical skills is not the same as real life practical execution and application. I remember when I first interviewed for a job that requires language skills, I obviously passed the test. I mean how hard it is to just have a normal casual conversation and reading some articles? Although I passed the test, I was literally floored when I was using the language in a business context and reading business documents after I got hired. But overtime, I got so used to the language that I almost can pass off as a native.
So if all the above are not easy to assess, then what really makes an interviewee stands out and gives an edge over fellow candidates? It’s a fact that good looks definitely helps. No interviewer will hire someone whom they cannot stand looking at in a daily context since they will be colleagues and working together often.
Being well-groomed and carry through the energy during the interview will definitely strengthen your impression during an interview. Show your passion and hunger through your eyes and gesture. Put through your strengths in an affirmative manner. Do not hide your weakness; No one is perfect. It’s ok to have weaknesses, and by acknowledging it means that you are working to improve it as you matures as a person and an employee. An organized and meticulous person pay attention to what they wear for an interview and how they match the accessories according to the job, company and environment. For example; If you are having a lunch interview, try to avoid wearing white or ordering food that is difficult to eat without using your hands. If you are interviewing for a sales job, it’s not necessary to only wear formal and safe plain solid dark colours. You are in sales, you are supposed to be vibrant, full of energy and enterprising.
Here are some of the other things you should pay attention to when going in for an interview.
Interviewers like to see a fresh face when they meet you. No one likes a day old stubble, unless you look like Brad Pitt. If you have a goatee, be sure to clip it so it looks neat. From time to time, men just like women, suffer from dark circles around their eyes. A lifestyle change takes time to make the appearance of dark circles better so try to use a corrector in the meantime. A concealer is an excellent product that gives your face the instant freshness it needs. Use it to brighten the area around your eyes, hide blemishes, uneven skin tone, tattoos and other spots and marks you may have on your face and skin.
As much as you may love your long hair, you may need to do something about it unless you are applying for a job in the creative field where it is not generally frowned upon. Keep your hair short and presentable. If it gets out of hand, use some gel or mousse to keep it well groomed.
I cannot emphasise how important this is when you go anywhere at all. Many people pay so much attention to their face and hair, but forget this one simple but extremely important stick – the deodorant stick. BO is a major put-off and no one should leave home without using a good deodorant.
This is just as important as the three factors above. You don’t need to look like a model out of GQ Magazine with expensive branded clothes, but you need clothes that are clean, ironed and that fit you well. Match them to the occasion and environment. If you know you will get sweaty, avoid wearing clothes with colour that will show or magnify your sweaty armpits!
Lastly, but not least carry your confidence with you at all times. The one big thing that strikes out in a successful candidate is his confidence and a smile.