5 Ways to Avoid Being Judged by Your Appearance at a Job Interview
Have you ever suspected attractive people have an easier time during the job search? A quick search of the research literature backs this up.
A comprehensive academic review in Behavioural Brain Science, as cited in Forbes, says, “Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.”
Appearance-based discrimination can take many different forms, including discrimination against job applicants because of their weight, number of piercings and/or tattoos, or unconventional attire.
Even the best job search apps can only help you reach as wide a number of employers as possible, not ensure that employers will be free from hiring bias.No matter how prevalent physical appearance-related discrimination may be, there are several strategies you can use to overcome this form of bias when finding a job.
Go above and beyond in every job and volunteer opportunity.
While employers are often swayed by appearance, it’s hard to argue with a truly outstanding performance record.
So be a perfectionist at all your job and volunteer roles, and your hard work will hopefully help you stand out in your job search, even above candidates whose appearances rate more favorably with employers. Nonetheless, Forbes finds a caveat; even when employers focus on past performance, this data “is likely to have been influenced by historical biases: for example, if attractive people have been evaluated more favorably in the past, they will show up as high performers in their CVs, and so on.”
Avoid job applications that focus solely on education and work experience.
These categories are the most likely to generate biased interviewing, as they often do not represent the interviewee’s true skills.
Instead, why not apply to jobs that use alternative recruitment techniques like structured interviews and cognitive ability tests, which are known as the best predictors of job performance? While an employer may still notice your appearance during the interview, with these more targeted recruitment methods, you can feel more assured that employers are fully aware of your true skills and abilities rather than focusing on your physical appearance in the interview.
Agree to a phone call before your interview if possible.
According to SHRM, phone calls can help the employer verify your resume qualifications and eliminate unqualified candidates.
Phone calls can also build a connection with the interviewer and diminish hiring bias, since once an employer knows more about you, they may be less likely to discriminate against you based on your appearance during the job interview.
Try a new hiring platform.
Geekbidz is a new skill-based direct-to-hire job platform that invites job seekers to do a skills ranking online. Then the platform uses AI to pair employers with the candidate most qualified for their job posting and allows the employer to invite the candidate to an on-the-job evaluation.
By completely eliminating the interview stage of the hiring process, Geekbidz also totally removes the main source of appearance-related hiring bias. Even the best job search apps will often lead you to a face-to-face interview in the end, so why not try this unique platform that guarantees job seekers will bypass the interview?
Try an “AI job interview.”
Slate explains that “a growing number of real-life recruiters are turning to A.I.-led job interviews, using programs that interview and assess candidates before a human recruiter even lays eyes on them.”
Certainly, you won’t be a victim of hiring bias against your appearance if you are interviewed by a bot recruiter. Usually, however, the whole process isn’t run by robots; A.I. sorts or ranks candidates before they finally interact with a human.
Appearance might be important, but other things are more relevant
Physical appearance-based bias will always exist in the job search and interview process, but there are a few important steps you can take to eliminate that bias as much as possible and feel more confident that recruiters and employers are getting to know you based on your skills and job performance and not just how you look.