Opinions about work-from-home continue to ebb and flow but a new online survey from the ASA Workforce Monitor found that when interviewing for a new job, many Americans prefer an in-person meeting to a virtual interview. The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll showed that 70% of all Americans prefer in-person job interviews. This is compared with 17% who want video calls. Another 9% would opt for audio-only calls.
First Impression = First Victory
This could be a sign that candidates are looking to make a good first impression, which can be difficult with video technology. The pandemic also shifted workwear in a more casual direction – hence the business on top scenario where only what’s worn on top will be captured on video. Although casualness is more acceptable, the job interview is not a time for casualness, but instead an opportunity to make a professional impression by wearing appropriate business attire.
The ASA Workforce Monitor survey found 39% of men are likely to get a haircut for the interview or feel the need to change their hairstyle for the interview. In comparison, 23% of women do not. The desire to make a change in one’s appearance is much more prevalent among Hispanic American interviewers. 74% are “significantly more likely” than their white counterparts (65%) to feel it’s necessary to modify their appearance for a job interview.
When in doubt about what to wear for an interview, it’s typically better to go with a more professional, tidy look. It’s also fine to ask the recruiter what might be good to wear for the interview, if you have an in-person interview option.
- Prepare a portfolio of past work.
- Review common interview questions.
- Practice interview questions aloud with someone else.
- Research the company and the role.
- Create a list of personal accomplishments.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer.
- Arrive on time (or early) fully prepared.
- Come prepared with resumes, paper and pen.
- Leave your phone in the car or turn it off.
“Job seekers may prefer to have the option to work remotely, but they still want to make their first impressions in person,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and CEO. “Unfortunately, far too many (67%) feel the need to modify their normal appearance in some way prior to a job interview. To attract the best talent and create more inclusive workplaces, employers need to send a clear message to candidates that they are hiring based on skills and not physical appearance of dress codes from another era.”
At Staffing Kansas City, we provide guidance to all of our job candidates about what our employers expect and how best to prepare for the job interview.