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In the past few days, I have been disappointed to hear that many of our candidates have been passed over for some of the  most avoidable reasons.

It seems that we should not have to tell candidates this age old secret to the interview:  dress to impress.  Do not present a visible appearance that would distract the hiring authority from your talents; the talents that can make them (and you) a lot of money.

“Dress to impress”–They are words that rhyme and should be easy to remember, yet many candidates forget, ignore, or dress in clothes that are the latest fad for the interview.  It is important to remember that first impressions mean everything.  When you dress badly for the interview, the hiring authority immediately assumes that you will not take care of the restaurant; he assumes that you will let your hourly employees push the dress code.  He KNOWS that you probably are not the best fit for the job.

Appropriate dress is simple.  Iron your clothes.  Tuck your shirt in.  Dress modestly.  Do not wear clothes with stains on them. Be relevant, but always, always be neat, clean and pressed.

Clothing is not the only appearance issue.  Groom your hair.  Guys, groom your facial hair.  If you have visible tattoos, cover them until you find out the company’s policy on tattoos.  If you have piercings, and can cover them, do so until you find out the company’s policy of piercings.  Be careful about over-doing perfumes and colognes.

Alone, there is nothing wrong with any of these things, but in the spirit of matching the right people for the right job, it is important that you give yourself the best opportunity to get past the first interview.  Your number one job is to sell yourself and to avoid anything that would distract from your number one asset…YOU.

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