When it comes to interviewing for a job you really want, most of us will take all the help we can get, whether it’s résumé formatting advice, body language tips or in this case, what to wear. A helpful new study recently found that of hundreds of job candidates, people who wore black were likelier to get offers than those who didn’t — in addition to some other useful insights.
The study, which was sponsored by digital recruiting company SmartRecruiters, examined nearly 2,000 job applicants, 180 of whom received offers, and 1,800 of whom were rejected. Seventy percent of hired candidates wore a “mostly black” outfit to their interview (only 33 percent of rejected candidates wore black).
While what you wear to an interview might matter, it turns out that your looks don’t play as much of a role — thank goodness. Seventy-eight percent of hired candidates rated themselves as “average” or “slightly unattractive,” whereas 66 percent of rejected candidates considered themselves “attractive” or “very attractive.” (That, or people who get jobs tend to be more modest?!)
Looks and clothes aside, the study confirms that it’s important to focus on the company and the job itself in an interview (rather than, say, droning on at length about your own experience and interests): 63 percent of hired candidates reported spending more time talking about the company culture and specific functions of the job than rejected candidates.
It also pays to tailor your résumé for each job interview — even if it’s just to fake it ’til you make it or pad your résumé with skills to make you appear to be a better fit for the role. Forty-five percent of successful candidates tailored their résumés and 18 percent of them said it was to fake it ’til they made it.
Oh, and one last thing to keep in mind: Of the rejected candidates, 42 percent had public social media profiles, 23 percent said there were public photos of them drinking and 23 percent admitted to spelling errors on social media. Hey, we knew it already, but it bears repeating: Prospective employers will look at your social media accounts, so keep them private if they’re mostly personal, or even better, make them public and keep them reigned in so they reflect the type of person managers want to hire.