So you’ve landed the big interview, which means your resume and cover letter made a strong first impression. Congrats. Now it’s time to walk into that office where your interviewer will scrutinize your every word—and every detail of your appearance. The bad news is, even if you have the best answers and experience, a seemingly minor grooming mishap can keep you from landing your dream job. The good news is, taking the time to look sharp can actually give you an edge. Here are a few simple tips to separate you from the competition.
Play it right, and the only shoulder brushing you’ll be doing will happen in celebration with your buddies after you’ve aced the interview.
1. Shave the night before
You’re going to be antsy the morning of the interview. You need to eat a nutritious breakfast, navigate the route to the office, avoid spilling coffee on yourself, etc. So get as much done as you can the night before, including shaving. Shave in or right after a shower, while your skin is moist and pores are open, and use high-end products to ensure a smooth, less irritating shave. Shaving before bed also gives your skin some time to recover overnight, which is especially important if you’re one of those guys whose skin gets irritated easily. After all, you want your interviewer to be focusing on your smarts and skills, not your nicks and cuts.
2. Don’t flake
Wearing a dark, tailored suit conveys power and professionalism, but the last thing you want is to be brushing flakes off your shoulders while the head honcho is grilling you on your greatest weakness. Stay flake-free by washing your hair thoroughly the morning of the interview with a 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner, massaging and gently rubbing your scalp with the pads of your fingers, not your fingernails. If you’re prone to dandruff, be sure to wash your hair with lukewarm water, which will result in a less-dry scalp and fewer flakes. Play it right, and the only shoulder brushing will happen in celebration with your buddies after you’ve aced the interview.
3. Keep the back of your neck at the front of your mind
You want your attributes, not the appearance of the back of your neck, to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. Picture it—you shake hands and turn to leave, and the last thing your prospective employer sees is an unkempt, untamed patch of neck hair peeking out the top of your collar. Yuck. Out of sight for you does not mean out of mind for your interviewer, so clean up your neck a day or two beforehand, using a mirror, shaving gel and a razor or a small buzzer. Think about it: two minutes looking back could transform your entire future. Good luck!