So you got an interview for your dream job. No pressure, right?

As if you needed something else to stress about, you know the hiring team will be looking up and down. You can’t stop them, but you can control what they see. Here are some things a hiring team notices when sizing you up as a job candidate.

Size matters

And we do mean sizing up. The hiring team will note your height. Taller people tend to earn more. In fact, research has shown that for every inch of height, a tall employee can expect to earn some $800 extra per year.

And the sizing up doesn’t stop there. The hiring team will also guess your weight. Overweight people earn less than their skinnier counterparts. In fact, clinically obese female employees are paid about $8,000 less than their coworkers, and clinically obese male employees are paid about $4,000 less. In general, overweight employees are more likely to be discriminated against in terms of salary, hiring, and raises.

If you’re exercise-obsessed, you’re in luck. The hiring team will also check out your physique. In-shape employees earn an average of 9% more than employees who are out of shape. In fact, people who exercise several times per week earn an average of $80 a week more than those who don’t.

The right look

Are you ready for this? Blondes have more fun — and more money, too. The hiring team will note your hair color. Research has shown that fair-haired employees earn some 7% more than female employees with darker hair. Consider lightening your ‘do if you want to earn more.

Oh, and looking like a million bucks may net you as much. Your grooming will matter to your hiring team. Studies have shown that women who regularly wear makeup earn more money than those who don’t. What’s more, women who wear makeup are viewed as more competent and trustworthy than those who go barefaced. In fact, women who wear makeup can earn more than 30% more than plain Janes.

Who’s the fairest of them all? You’ll want hope you are, because the hiring team will assess your looks. The more attractive you are, the more you’ll get paid. Research has shown that employers pay attractive employees an average 5% more than they do unattractive employees. But if you’re really attractive, you might face discrimination when it comes to applying for jobs considered to be for men only.

Tips for nailing an interview

Of course, looks aren’t everything. Your hiring team will also want to get a sense of you as an employee and a person. Here are 9 tips for capitalizing on the impression your appearance makes on them.

  1. Arrive to an interview early to show your hiring team that punctuality and reliability are important to you. Use that extra time to spruce yourself up in the restroom.
  2. You’ll likely have more than one interviewer, so bring extra copies of your resume. This shows that you’re prepared for anything.
  3. Research the position. Specifically, research detailed information on the company, position, and interviewer prior to your interview and read as many articles as you can about the industry.
  4. Strike a bold stance by holding your head level and planting your feet firmly on the ground during the interview. Doing so will make you appear steady and confident.
  5. To appear engaged, ask questions. Inquire about the ideal candidate for the position as well as the company’s long term growth and plans.
  6. And to show that you’re super interested in the job, lean forward and smile.
  7. Deactivate your social media accounts. Leaving them active could end up tarnishing your image should anyone on the hiring team look them up.
  8. Don’t boast about or exaggerate your previous accomplishments. Stick to specifics and give examples of your strengths in the humblest way you can.
  9. Send a thank-you email after the interview. In it, express your gratitude for the interview opportunity, summarize your qualifications, and highlight those things about the position which interest you most.

Clothes-ing the deal

Wearing the right outfit is essential for nailing a job interview. You want to appear well-groomed, neat, and clean. The interviewer shouldn’t be distracted with what you’re wearing.

You should also:

  • Cover all tattoos and piercings
  • Press your outfit and make sure it has no stains or tears
  • Wear an outfit that fits you comfortably
  • Leave chewing gum, communication and entertainment devices, and beverages at home or in your car
  • Skip the perfume, aftershave, or cologne (a lot of workplaces are scent-free)
  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash
  • Skip the nail polish and keep your makeup neutral and light
  • Wear simple jewelry, such as a watch, and don’t over-accessorize

No matter what, you’re always being judged according to how you look, especially when it comes to the workplace. Fair or not, you can do the most for yourself by making sure all the great things about you shine. Now that's work that's pays!

References

  1. "5 Best Looks to Land the Job," Good Housekeeping, February 1, 2010.
  2. "Interview Outfits for Women: What to Wear to an Interview," The Balance, August 23, 2016.
  3. "Suiting Up for Success: Job Interview Attire for Women (Part I)," The Huffington Post, July 16, 2013.
  4. "What to Wear to a Job Interview," Forbes, March 21, 2015.

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