When employers give you the once-over, make sure they see hiring material

In this competitive job market, you need more than a sharp suit and a killer CV to gain an edge. “It’s all about the first 30 seconds, so make eye contact and make a statement. “When it comes down to two candidates, the choice will often be determined by fit and finish.” Be the one they call back.

FACE

What they notice

A beard. “You don’t meet a lot of professionals with beards, keep it clean and tidy and make a good first impression.

How to fix it

Shave it short a week out. Moisturise before shaving, and use a sharp razor. Apply aftershave balm; moisturise again. Try Nivea for Men Skin Energy Q10 Double Action Balm R80, Clicks

EYEBROWS

What they notice

A unibrow. They also notice nose and ear hair. Unkempt, poorly groomed candidates will never gain the edge on higher-level jobs.

How to fix it

Use tweezers on your brows or ask your girlfriend to show you how. Don’t forget to use trimmers for your nose and ear hair. Try the Remington nose and ear hair trimmer R130, Clicks

HAIR

What they notice

Non-conformity. Corporate positions require a clean-cut look. Show uniqueness in what you can bring professionally, not just in your haircut.

How to fix it

Schedule a haircut (Or at least a side-burn and neck trim with your regular barber or stylist a few days before the interview. This is not the time to try something new; it’s the time to clean up any distracting fly aways. Style your hair with a wax, try Redken for Men Maneuver Working Wax R302, Redken

HANDS

What they notice

If you’re interviewing for a white-collar job, hands that look like you work in a garage or on a farm tend to stand out.

How to fix it

It’s finally time: have a professional manicure and buff and moisturise those hands daily. Dry hands? Try Eucerin Intensive Hand Cream R100, Dischem

More Interview Essentials

(and what you can do to nail them)

YOUR STYLE

No, you don’t have to go out and buy a new suit, as long as the one you have fits well. Consider a trip to the tailor to refresh your go-to look, because a suit (or shirt) that is too big or too tight looks amateurish and will undermine your confidence. Add a patterned pocket square for a touch of confidence.

YOUR MANNERS

Be professional upon entering the building. Some places go out of their way to choreograph the waiting room, using the receptionist and a lobby camera to observe job seekers. You’d be surprised how rudeness, nervous tics and preening can ruin a candidate’s chances.

YOUR LUNCH

Restaurant etiquette provides strong clues about a person’s personal habits and refinement. Take cues from those around you and choose an entrée at a similar level. If the waiter calls on you first, order a simple fish or chicken dish.