<img src="https://certify.alexametrics.com/atrk.gif?account=mZnsn1QolK1052" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">

Appearance Can Make or Break You - Interview Attire For Men and Women

Appearance Can Make or Break You - Interview Attire for Men and WomenOur Atlanta Career Coach, Paula Pope, facilitates an interview workshop with Michael Parker, a professional appearance consultant, in Atlanta. Michael educates men on professional appearance strategies and how appearance can impact a sale and close the deal. Michael instructs job seekers how to conduct a frank personal appearance rating (PAR) prior to an interview or important networking event to gain the competitive edge in sealing the deal.

Listed below are key factors Michel shares that can negatively impact one’s PAR:

  1. Not dressing for the company and culture. Statistics from Careerism show that Hiring Managers make a decision within the first 30 seconds after meeting a candidate as to the candidate’s potential cultural fit. Let’s use this example: two candidates are interviewing for mid-level tech position at a start-up company. One candidate wears stylish, dark dress jeans, a sport coat, and an open collar shirt. The second candidate wears a black boardroom suit, white shirt, and red paisley tie. Which candidate checked his PAR and has the edge in the first 30 seconds of the interview process?
  2. Dressing in out-of-date, ill-fitting clothing. Men and women often purchase one very expensive suit and think it will suffice for every interview and funeral over the next ten years. WRONG!!! Styles of suits change and trends vary from year to year. Interview attire for men and women should be in-style, a current fabrication and color, and well-fitted. Spending a few dollars on tailoring is worth the investment.
  3. Unpressed, dirty, or wrinkled clothing. This will give the interviewer the impression that you are unprofessional, disorganized, or lazy and they will relate this to your work ethic.
  4. Wearing out-of-date eye glass frames. Frame styles change as often as clothing styles and will date one if not kept current. There are numerous low-cost frame suppliers available at retailers and through online websites.
  5. Out-of-date hair styles or ones that age the candidate. Forget the mullets and beehives and invest in a current cut, style and possible color prior to the interview. Again, there are many cost effective salons available in every city.
  6. Heavy fragrance or cologne…. leave it at home and do not wear any scent to an interview. One job seeker shared her experience of being asked to leave the interview office as her fragrance was annoying the interviewer. If you think she was invited to return for another interview, you are very wrong.

Smart job seekers recognize that they are searching for a position 24/7…. at the ball park, at Starbuck’s, at a sporting event, or while performing a volunteer role. They understand the importance personal appearance can have on first impressions. Don’t let your personal appearance rating (PAR) be a detriment to landing that new position and career.


Paula Pope is a Senior Consultant with The Frontier Group, an outplacement and career coaching firm with offices in Atlanta and Charlotte.