Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Exploring Attractiveness and Your Job Search

Everyone says that first impressions are a huge factor when meeting new people, is this true in the interview process?

Well, yes! ... and no. 

Most people think about first impressions as solely your level of attractiveness. But this is definitely more than the stereotype of 'the attractive one gets the job'. Which may or may not be true.

Why you ask? Well, I’ll list a few examples.

A handsome man or pretty woman will get attention in a meeting, just as a not so attractive person would. High attractiveness can affect a candidate in a good and bad way. 

Is this 'pretty' woman able to be really firm during a negotiation?
This lady is 'pretty', but can she really do the job?
This lady is too 'pretty', she does not come across as serious. 

Is this handsome man a bit too flirty? Will this handsome guy be a distraction to the woman in our office? This guy is handsome - he’s probably accustomed to getting by with his looks.

These are some not so positive thoughts a hiring manager could possibly think of that might affect the decision making process. 

But here's the more typical examples that we think of. 

This lady is pretty, I want to talk with her and I can see others getting along well with her. 

Wow this handsome guy has a great presence; he'd be great in front of our clients. 

There is no real way to control what others think of about your looks during an interview, but hopefully this shows how attractive people can also have issues based on appearance during an interview.

So what can we generally do to make a great first impression, just from our appearance? Well, I’ve got three things for you!  

1.  Do Your Research on the Firm 




Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/findyoursearch/

I am sure we will all do the typical research, right? The research I am referring to goes beyond the company background and job duties. 
·       Ask what the company dress is like. 
·       Look at LinkedIn, the Company page, Company social outlets to get an idea of the overall look of the employees. 
Are the women wearing heavy makeup or little to no makeup? For a company where women where less makeup and are not as glamorous, someone that comes in looking like Beyonce or JLo in an interview may have some difficulty with the hiring manager picturing them on their team. 
·       Are the men dressed really trendy or is it the typically suit ‘n tie deal. Think about this in your next interview. 

 2. Put on Your Best Look 
Look your best during the interview. This means something that is both comfortable and looks really nice to others. For this, don't just ask your sister or girlfriend or go with a look you like. It helps to get different insights; your interviewer will most likely come from a different background than you. Once you've found the look that works for you, you'll feel more confident and more likely to ace that job interview! 

3. Smile and Make Eye Contact 

Smiles and eye contact are very reassuring. I am not saying stare the interviewer down or to smile like a Ken or Barbie doll, but make sure you are smiling. Interviews are nerve racking and stressful, but keeping this going will help you and the interviewer. 

I hope this helps someone out there! 

Happy Hunting!
Jess


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