Does Appearance Matter in your Interview?

Most Human Resources people will tell you that a candidate’s appearance at your job interview is the best that the candidate will look during their employment with the company. They’re talking about you. In the Silicon Valley, the dress code has always been less formal than the East Coast and has become more and more informal for decades. Today, it’s not uncommon to find companies that are not just “business casual” or have “casual Fridays” but are “casual”. That doesn’t mean that informal dress is right for the job interview.

Interview Tips - Fishguardtaxis.comYou need to consider what level of job you are applying for, and the level of the person you’ll be interviewing with, and if possible, the typical dress at the interviewing company before deciding what you will wear. The term “dress for success” is a good policy to follow. Spend a few minutes using ZoomInfo or LinkedIn and learn the interviewer’s title(s) at the company. Talk to someone you know about how people dress there. If you can get a specific answer, dress one or two notches above the standard. If in doubt, a suit and tie for a man, or a suit and proper blouse for a woman is always acceptable. It’s far better to over-dress (you can always take off the tie, put the jacket over the chair and roll up your sleeves) than under-dress. Wetfeet has some similar comments. “When in doubt, it’s better to err on the formal rather than on the casual side of dress.”

Take a look into the mirror before you leave the house to make sure that you are showing the look you want the company to see. Try and get to the appointment, at least 15 minutes early. Take time to stop off and check the mirror in the bathroom, and fix whatever may need touching up. Try getting into the office 5-10 minutes early, give yourself a chance to relax, gather your thoughts and be prepared for the questions.

Follow up in a timely manner

Ideally you should follow up within 2 to 3 days of being interviewed, unless the recruiter explicitly says there should be no follow ups. Following up has the advantage of allowing you to remain memorable in the mind of the recruiter. If the recruiter remembers you it could increase your chances of being hired for the job.

Sell yourself

During the follow up you can also take the opportunity to quickly express some of your ideas or present a solution to a problem that the recruiter may have stated in the interview, or you can give a response to question that you were unable to answer during the actual interview. This can work to your advantage by giving the recruiter the impression that you’re really serious about the job and you’re actually putting in effort. The thank you note can also soften up the recruiter a little bit.

Know when to move on

If you’ve waited for while and followed up but the recruiter doesn’t respond, you should move on. There’s no point in spending your time pining over one job. Don’t take it personal. Direct your efforts toward other opportunities.