Published on: May 30, 2017

The Importance of Grooming for a Job Interview

One of the easiest things you can do to prepare for a job interview is to make sure you look and smell great. While proper grooming may seem superficial, people often judge someone based on first appearances, and the adage that you should "dress for the job you want" is very spot on. The interviewer wants to make sure you'd be able to fit into the work environment, so you'll want to show him through your outward appearance that you belong there.

Think back to experiences in your own life; how have first impressions helped shape the way you responded to a certain person? How would your demeanor have changed if your teacher had entered the classroom in sweats, a hoodie and flip-flops? Sure, you might feel an increased sense of camaraderie with him based on his relaxed grooming habits, but you might not be as respectful toward him as an authority figure. Now imagine that same teacher entered in the room in a business suit. Even though the teacher himself wouldn't have changed, the students in the class would probably sit up a little taller. The same thing is true with a job interview. Your interviewer will be dressed professionally, so you should as well. This will promote both camaraderie and respect.

Tips for Looking Your Best

There are certain things you can do to make sure you have groomed appropriately for the job. The most important thing you should do is leave yourself enough time to get ready for the interview without feeling rushed. This will help you avoid having to cut corners in order to get there on time.

  • Make sure your hair is freshly washed and styled.
  • If you have long hair, consider putting it up in a bun or ponytail.
  • If you wear nail polish, make sure it's a subtle color.
  • Keep your nails trimmed so they look professional.
  • If you're wearing a dress without sleeves, use a clear deodorant that doesn't leave marks on your armpits.
  • Take out any body piercings except for one in each ear. (Guys should remove all body piercings.)
  • Use a lint roller to get rid of any pet hair on your clothing.While most of these guidelines may seem common sense, it can be hard for those without experience to know how important these subtle grooming standards are. When you look your best, the interviewer won't be thrown off by your appearance and will instead be focused on what you have to say.

    When you're in a job interview, you want your overall look to blend into the environment so that your qualifications can stand out. Your appearance should be a backdrop to your individual personality. You'll want the interviewer to remember your inner person and not your outward appearance, and this can only be achieved when you take the time to make your outward appearance look polished.

    Tips for Smelling Your Best

    Not only do you want to look great during a job interview, but you also want to smell great. You will most likely be in an enclosed location with one or more individuals, and you'll most likely be nervous during the interview. If you make sure that you smell great before you enter the room, you're more likely to maintain that pleasant odor throughout the interview.

    While you'll want to make sure you smell great, you also want your grooming habits to reflect a professional demeanor. Therefore, you should smell nice without your scent being overly powerful and distracting.

    • Bathe or shower before your interview.
  • Avoid perfume or strong cologne, but instead opt for subtle body mist or scented deodorant.
  • If you can, bring deodorant with you in the car so that you can apply a fresh coat right before the interview.
  • Brush your teeth before the interview. If you drink coffee on the way, bring a mint to freshen your breath.Sometimes you may have things you need to do in between home and the interview. If this is the case, make sure you leave enough time before the interview to stop in the restroom before the interview takes place. Inside the restroom you can check your hair, reapply deodorant or use body spray as needed and pop a mint. You can also use this opportunity to check your teeth for any stray seeds or food particles.

    For better or for worse, first impressions are very important in a job interview. Anything that stands out can detract from the interview experience, while any grooming habits that make you blend in to your surroundings help the interviewer focus on you instead of on the way you look.

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LiveCareer Staff Writer

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering…

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