A new survey from Britain’s The Hospital Group has revealed that nearly half of employers wouldn’t hire someone with bad teeth or unpleasant breath. A third of bosses also reportedly saw excessive sweating as a turn-off, while tattoos, bad skin and facial piercings were also considered taboo.
I always say that there are two days when you absolutely have to look your very best: your wedding day and your first interview. An impressive resume and fancy suit may not be enough to get your foot on the corporate ladder. The devil is in the details, so don’t overlook your grooming.
Invest in a tooth whitening treatment (or at least get the affordable whitening strips—they make a big difference) and gargle some mouthwash before your interview. Don’t chew gum or a mint—that looks unprofessional—and try to avoid sipping coffee or tea beforehand as they can give you strong breath. And if you have major dental problems that make you self-conscious, it’s worth splurging on a trip to the dentist or even a cosmetic dentist. Even replacing your noticeable black fillings with undetectable white ones can give you a confidence boost!
If you have problem skin, consult a dermatologist to find a skincare regimen that works for you. Avoid heavy makeup or facial treatments in the days before your interview, as they can irritate sensitive skin. And don’t forget your nails—they should healthy-looking and free of ragged edges, whether you’re male or female.
Your shoes and accessories—belts, handbags, briefcases, etc.—should be in good condition. Avoid scuffed leather or anything too trendy. Give your leather goods a nice polish to upgrade your image. If you’re a woman being interviewed, avoid loading yourself down with both a handbag and a briefcase, especially if you’re petite. It should be one or the other.
When you’re waiting in the lobby for your interviewer to arrive, make sure you are polite to the receptionist, and that you smile and sit up straight. The receptionist’s first impression often has a huge influence on the boss.
Also, if you’re offered a glass of water, say no because oftentimes you may not know what to do with the glass when the interviewer comes to greet you. This happened to me once and it will never happen again! There was nowhere to leave the glass and I was having trouble getting out of a very soft and cushy chair while grabbing my purse and portfolio and figuring out what to do with the glass. It was embarrassing. Speaking of which, you should opt for a straight-backed chair rather than a soft, sinkable sofa to sit in if you have a choice.
Finally, if you are not 100% sure of where your interview is located, do a dry run the day before. You NEVER want to be late for an interview. It leaves a very bad first impression!