5 Essential Job Interview Grooming Tips For Men and Women

5 Essential Job Interview Grooming Tips For Men and Women
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 28 March, 2022

Are you interviewing for a new role? Then you will need to make a memorable impression by following some grooming tips.

While your appearance may not necessarily have anything to do with how well you would perform in a role, it is undeniable that first impressions are so crucial in the professional world. Impressions and perceptions matter at business meetings and job interviews where your professional reputation is at stake.

The importance of grooming: Why are first impressions important?

Studies show that impressions happen in one-tenth of a second — and once that perception is formed, it can be tough to change it. These impressions lead to conclusions about a person’s qualities, such as their trustworthiness, competency, friendliness, honesty, and morality.

Your appearance and grooming habits — which should appropriately match a job interview — are essential in making that esteemed impression. The reason for this? Context. As humans, we are wired to make sense of a person we are meeting for the first time using the information we can gather. A sharply dressed individual who looks like they prepared for the meeting? Likely a positive sign. It is as they say: You can never be too well dressed for a job interview.

Why should you practice good grooming tips?

Grooming makes up an important part of impressions. By being hygienic and looking neat and put together, you can quickly attain a dignified look and gain respect. Your grooming habits can tell an interviewer a lot about how you carry yourself and who you are as an individual.

Practising the proper grooming habits and dressing well for the job you want makes you confident. It helps you achieve a more positive outlook for the upcoming appointment and lets you become more appealing to people.

Being well-groomed also helps enhance your self-esteem, making you naturally project more confidence and self-assurance during the interview itself. This habit further boosts your chances of creating a positive perception and being considered for the job.

While a lot more that goes into creating an impressive perception, your appearance and grooming is a good place to start. Here are five essential job interview grooming tips for men and women.

Grooming tips for men

While men have fairly straightforward wardrobe choices compared to women, it is a misconception that men have an easier job with grooming and dressing compared to women.

Menswear also follows certain rules — from the sizes and proportions of the clothes to the colours they pair with. Also, men’s hygiene and grooming maintenance can require more effort, depending on several factors.

Here are some tips to take note of.

Plan your facial hair well

Men who fall under the “hairy” category will want to make sure they trim their facial hair to keep it neat. This includes your beard or moustache, as well as your ear and nostril hair. If in doubt, just go clean-shaven.

Meanwhile, there are some who can pull off some facial hair and give off a dignified look. Opt for a clean moustache or a nicely shaped beard.

Put down the hair gel when it comes to your hair

Skip the hair gel or putty. Instead, go for styling products that keep your hair in shape with a natural look.

Look neat, sharp, and classic when it comes to your outfit choices

At the very least, make sure your suit or shirt and pants are freshly laundered, neatly pressed, and well-coordinated. Your shirt’s armhole should fall flat on your shoulders, while the cuffs of your sleeves should not go beyond your wrists. For more traditional or corporate positions, opt for neutral or light-coloured shirts.

Suppose you are interviewing for a creative or fashion-oriented position. In that case, you might want to take the opportunity to express your personality with a more colourful ensemble while still keeping it professional and smart.

Wear a pleasant and fresh scent

Use deodorant to stay fresh and dry, but avoid colognes and strong fragrances. You do not want to overpower your interviewer in any way, and that includes scents.

Ensure you have fresh breath

Avoid smoking for at least half an hour before the interview. If you have to have a coffee beforehand, make sure you have breath mints on you. You do not want to put off the interviewer with stinky breath.

Grooming tips for women

From specific hairstyles to simpler makeup, women have interview-related grooming tips to follow too.

Keep your hair neat

Do you like the messy, “just got out of bed” look? While the style can look trendy, it is more often than not, inappropriate for a job interview. If you have long hair, ensure that it is nicely brushed, neat, without a strand out of place. Tuck your hair behind your ear if needed. You can also opt to tie it up in a ponytail or a bun.

Stick to natural-looking makeup

While you may enjoy the idea of wearing makeup everywhere, you must follow the adage “less is more” in a job interview. Light and simple makeup helps you look fresh, alert, and presentable without distracting the interviewer from what you have to say. Opt for fresh and natural colours. Keep the look clean and subtle.

Make sure you brought the right outfit

Whether you opt for a pantsuit, a skirt suit, or a chic dress, remember to keep your outfit business-like. Stay away from plunging necklines, micro-mini skirts and anything too revealing. Doing so might send out the wrong message. Flashy accessories should be avoided or kept to a minimum. For tips on choosing the right colour, check out our colour guide for job interviews.

Do not forget about choosing appropriate footwear. Wear shoes that look good but do not leave you wincing with each step. Again, the exception to the rule here is if you are interviewing for a creative or fashion-oriented position, in which case you might be allowed to inject some colour and personality into your ensemble.

Wear a pleasant and fresh scent

As with the rule of thumb for men, women must avoid overpowering fragrances when going into a job interview. While wearing scents can project a certain mood or vibe, you may want to steer clear of perfumes that are too intense.

Keep mints in your purse, just in case

One of the most distracting elements that can likely turn off someone from a conversation is bad breath. Carry breath mints in your handbag in case you need to freshen your breath. If smoking helps you calm nerves, you may want to try other alternative techniques that can help you be less nervous and more focused.

If you are having lunch before your interview, it pays to bring a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you. Remember to brush your teeth before you meet your interviewer.


Remember to update your JobStreet profile so that the right employers can find you! Do you need more expert tips on how to apply for a position and prepare for a job interview? Visit JobStreet’s Career Resources Hub. Finally, download the JobStreet app

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