Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site
Does it really make a difference how you dress for an interview? According to a recent ‘Influence of Personal Appearance on Hiring Decisions’ poll conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site, it might matter more than you think. The poll has shown that looking good in the workplace may be the key to career advancement, with 78.6% of respondents believing there is a correlation between being well-groomed and growing professionally.
Looking the part may also have a major impact on the success of a job interview, according to 76.4% who believe that employers make a decision based on a candidate’s physical appearance. Good personal grooming and style shows an interest in the position (as stated by 27.5%), as well as being demonstrative of good character (stated by 24.8%).
“Quite clearly, personal appearance is of importance to many employers and employees in the region. It would seem to have a major influence on decisions to hire candidates or not, while good grooming may continue to have an impact from within the workplace, affecting the possibilities of promotion,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “Bayt.com specializes in gathering information that is vital to the success of job seekers, employees and employers across the MENA region. We seek to empower the people of the region by providing them with the essentials that will allow them to live the lives that they wish.”
Despite the emphasis that respondents place on being presentable in the workplace, only half of the poll’s respondents (47.3%) say that their company has a dress code. Of these, 46.4% claim to have not been informed of it when joining – they found out later by themselves. A majority of the respondents (60.2%) agree that it’s most important to look happy, well groomed, energetic and confident at the office, though looking fit and healthy is also a boon.
“If your office has an agreed-upon dress code,” Masri says, “then you should have no problems. But if it doesn’t, it's up to you to get it right. Always remember that understated elegance really makes a difference. When starting a new job, always keep in mind that how you dress will tell your boss and others in the organization how you see yourself and how you approach the job.”
Most poll respondents (75.8%) said that they do enjoy looking after their appearance and dressing up for work, with western formal-wear being preferable for 62.4%. Three in 10 (29.1%) wear informal clothes or dress casually, with just 8.5% opting for ethnic or national dress. Showing off tattoos or piercings is considered taboo by 51.9%.
63.5% of professionals are affirmative that they feel judged on the basis of their personal grooming and cloths and only 22.7% do not feel that they are judged by their colleagues on these factors. 78.6% of respondents state that they believe well-groomed professionals enjoy better professional growth (49.4% of these say that it influences advancement to a ‘large extent). Keeping in line with this statistic, 83.4% claim that there is a link between appearance and success.
“Despite the high correlation between personal grooming and professional success, this does not mean spending an exorbitant amount in keeping appearances. “Masri mentioned. “In fact, 48.5% of professionals say they spend only a moderate amount of their income on grooming and clothes. For landing a job and getting a promotion, a professional should always try to ‘look the part’,” said Masri. “In a conservative business climate, appearances do matter. In other environments it isn't as important. However, it does make sense to dress your best for the interview, regardless of the dress code at the organization. Making the right impression at work isn't hard if you keep in mind three basic rules: First, presentation does count. Second, a casual office environment doesn’t mean that you have to dress carelessly. Finally, dress as you want to be seen: a person who takes their job seriously, is professional, and upward-bound.”
Data for the Bayt.com Influence of Personal Appearance on Hiring Decisions was collected online from February 14 – March 15 2013, with 10,525 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.