Interview suit dry-cleaned? Check. Shoes shined? Check. Mohawk perfectly sculpted with extra Brylcreem?
Wait a second... This is a job interview, where you're supposed to strut your experience, not your feathers!
'Research says we make our assessments of others in the first 15 seconds we meet them,' says John McKee, founder of the Business Success Coach website and author of Career Wisdom: 101 Proven Strategies to Ensure Career Success. 'Within those first critical moments,' he says, 'you're being judged based on how you look, not what you say.'
And how you look doesn't just include your clothes and your hygiene, but how you fashion your locks. McKee says it may have something to do with the fact that women make up a majority of the hiring force today, and 'women are much more conscious and concerned about grooming, especially when it comes to hair.' But experts agree that you can infer a lot about people based on how they fashion their coif, including how you think they're going to function as employees.
'The truth is, the way you present yourself -- from your body language and clothing to the style of your haircut -- absolutely determines how people treat you, especially in the workplace,' says Bernardo Carducci, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Indiana University Southeast. 'It's a rapid judgment call termed ‘cognitive efficiency' that stems from caveman times, and it's based on using past experiences to predict future outcomes. Basically, if you don't look the part, you won't be deemed fit for the job (whether it's true or not), and it could mean the difference between getting hired or not, or moving ahead as opposed to getting landlocked.'
Jessica Lothstein for Men's Life Today
The author is a freelance writer and former editor at Best Life magazine. She writes on a range of subjects, including career advice and grooming, and has seen more than her fair share of haircuts gone wrong.
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