Do looks matter in job interviews?
This has been a perpetual topic of thought, if not discussion in wide open, especially among the job-seekers. In my experience of working and interacting with recruiters and career strategist across the world, I can say for certain that looks do matter in job interviews and subsequently do have an influence on hiring decisions.
Dan Holliday, SPHR, Technical Recruiter and HR manager with an experience of over 20 years says "It's a shame that it does, but it is -- sadly -- a huge factor. It matters with every company I've ever worked with. There are places that do a much better job than most. And let me be clear, almost ALL of my clients will choose the best candidate for the job, but when it comes down to making the decision between multiple candidates who are equally (or imperceptibly different in professional credentials), the attractive person almost always gets the job.”
Although professional credentials of the candidate are the biggest factor for hiring, however, a professional who is also attractive has significantly higher odds of landing the job. This, by the way, is not addressing the ethical need for a candidate to look neat, clean and behave hygienically, which is a very important social lubricant that makes working together comfortable and easy.
Having said that, there’s another side of the coin too. In all practicality, 'looks' especially stereotypical attractiveness as defined by the society doesn’t stand the ground as strongly today. With the changing times, there has been a significant shift in how people define looks. Today, it’s the overall personality, smartness and demeanour that makes a candidate memorable. This inevitably holds true for any in-person interaction too.
Besides, setting apart a few professions eg. fashion modelling, looks don’t necessarily make a difference in business-as-usual workings of the company. Ultimately, it’s the confidence, skills, experience and credentials that should be the basis to take the final decision, and not the looks.
All would agree to the fact that no matter what the parameter is, what truly matters, in the end, are the results. No matter how attractive someone is, competence can only be decided when the rubber hits the road. So instead of regretting the decision later, it’s in an employer’s best interest to place their best bet on the candidate’s credential rather than looks. Some, unfortunately, learn it the hard way.
What does this mean for job searchers? Well, simply put it means that they must not worry about ‘the looks’ per se as long as they maintain professional conduct that reflects in their dressing and overall attitude. Instead, stay focused on the kind of job they would like to do or the switch they would like to make, and prepare themselves in an overall sense that is there- confidence, skills, experience, not to miss their soft skills. And the right opportunity will definitely find a way!
What's your experience, thoughts and opinion on this? Would love to discuss the same with you on Opined, please do share :)