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What Your Appearance Tells a Recruiter

June 14, 2018

People are typically told not to judge a book by its cover. However, when a candidate goes to a job interview, they are judged based on their appearance. While an employer won't necessarily pass you up for a position based merely on your outfit choice, they will form an opinion about you that may sway their decision.

Learn what a recruiter might assess about you based on your outfit choice.

Whether You're Prepared
How you show up on the day of the interview may directly correlate with how prepared you will be when you show up for work. Employers want applicants that look like they are ready to work. If a person looks like they didn't put much effort into their appearance, the person will also look unprepared.

For example, if you show up with a stain on your shirt, the interviewer could easily assume that you were rushing or running late and didn't have time to change, which could be indicative of a person with planning and time management issues. Showing up to an interview with ill-fitting clothes could also be perceived as a lack of preparation.

An employer doesn't want to feel like you just decided to get up and come to the job interview. They want to feel like you thought about it and took the time to plan and prepare.

How Confident You Are
Employers often equate confidence with ability and trust. For this reason, applicants who exude self-confidence are often viewed as being knowledgeable and trustworthy. On average, more than 50 people apply to any given job opening, but only 12% of the applicants get an interview.

If you're fortunate enough to get called back for an interview, you want to make the most of the opportunity. The recruiter may judge your confidence level based on your answers to their questions and your appearance. A great way to appear more confident is to show up to the interview dressed as though you already have the job.

For example, if you're interviewing for an upper-level management role, wear a business suit instead of a shirt and pair of slacks or a skirt. Keep in mind that showcasing your self-confidence also has a lot to do with making yourself memorable but understand that being memorable doesn't mean being flashy. Always keep your appearance professional.

How Much You Pay Attention to Detail
Have you ever gone on a job interview and it seemed like you were being asked the same question over and over? If so, this wasn't by chance. Recruitment professionals will sometimes ask questions that sound the same but have tiny differences in their wording.

Employers sometimes ask these questions to determine how closely an applicant pays attention to detail, but they might also judge your attention to detail based on what you’re wearing. Consider a person that wears a pair of open-toe shoes to the interview. If their toenails are in desperate need of trimming or their nail polish is peeling, these issues need to be taken care of first.

Unmanicured toe nails might seem insignificant and may not at all impede your ability to perform in the role successfully. However, to a recruiter, a person that is genuinely detail oriented would have made sure that every facet of their appearance was on par.

Are you ready for your interview? From your work experience to the look of your resume to your appearance, an employer may quickly size you up to determine if you're the right candidate. Always strive to be the total package. For job search and resume assistance, at AAA McKinstry Personnel Agency & Resume Service, we're ready to put our experience to work for you.