You’re in the perfect well thought out ensemble. You’re groomed, ironed, smiling and confident…but how do you smell? Seems like a silly question but let me pose this to you?
- Drink coffee or soda prior to your interview?
- Light up to ease your nerves?
- Sprayed perfume or cologne?
- Used a ton of hairspray?
- Have you brushed your teeth?
- Applied deodorant?
- What do your shoes smell like?
- Are you a gum chewer?
- Are you a mint chomper?
- Did you have you a drinking binge last night?
All of these can affect your interview.
Did you know that smell is one of the strongest senses and one of the easiest to cause discomfort?
Have you ever walked up to shake someone’s hand and their breath made you want to take a step back? Have you walked by someone you know was just smoking because the cloud followed them into the building? Did you go out to celebrate the night before your interview? You know that the smell of alcohol can exude from your pores for up to 12-hours after you finished drinking, right?
It may seem obvious; in reality it is obviously overlooked.
My husband was in the process of hiring a new student worker. He had met with several candidates and was on his final interview walking in the door when he experienced an extremely offensive smell. Now before you get carried away, he has one smell aversion and that is watermelon. I can’t even have the stuff in the house, unfortunate for me because I love it. The student walking in the door had just been chewing on a piece of watermelon gum and had disposed of it before she came in. However, the smell was so strong that he couldn’t even make it through the interview. He asked all the required questions, thanked her for her time and sent her on her way. Did she get the job, no, was that fair, maybe not. However, this speaks exactly to what we’ve been talking about. You need to present a clean, neat, professional slate that an employer can see in the job. My husband just saw watermelon pink and green coming in the door with that smell every day. It wasn’t going to happen.
Before you leave your house make a check list.
- Did I brush my teeth (after the coffee)?
- Did I apply deodorant?
- Don’t apply cologne or perfume.
- Don’t smoke before your interview!
- Don’t chew strong smelling gum or candy.
- Don’t party the night before; your cosmo will come seeping through your pores.
You never know who you are going to interview with, what preconceptions, hang ups and prejudices they are bringing to the table. Your best chance is to come in as a neutral palate they feel they can write on. Check yourself, and be yourself; the very best version of yourself.
Read part three “Sound Funny to You?” of the sensory series.