How to Avoid Standing Out in a Bad Way

May 9, 2019

Want to make sure you’re not standing out in a bad way in your interview? Read this.

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I'm Sarina.

I equip Gen Z and Millenials with the career tools they need to succeed.


Want to make sure you’re not standing out in a bad way in your interview? Read this.

So you landed an in-person interview: congrats! Let’s go over a few basics. While these tips may be obvious to some, you’d be surprised how many people roll into interviews ignoring basic personal hygiene. Let’s discuss:

1. Bathe. Listen, I hate washing my hair as much as the next person but hygiene is incredibly important for an in-person interview, especially if it’s for an external facing role. Think about it. If you’re expected to represent the company to external partners, you probably want to be somewhat clean, right? The answer is yes. Even if the role isn’t external facing, bathing is usually a good idea.

2. Cut your nails. People notice nails. Trust me. Even for roles where you may not work with external partners, nails are something that a lot of people notice, including executives that you may want to impress. If you really love your long nails, that’s fine! Just make sure you don’t have food and dirt stuck in them. Yes, I said food and dirt. I’ve seen it so believe it. If reading that makes you cringe, imagine what it’s like to actually witness it. Clip, clip.

3. Save the spritz for your date. You may love the scent of your perfume but your interviewer may hate it. An undesirable scent can be incredibly distracting and leave a bad first impression in the eyes of your interviewer. True story: I am very, very sensitive to scent. Apart from my Le Labo and a few others, most perfumes give me a massive headache. I once interviewed a candidate for 30 minutes and her perfume was so strong that I a) kept getting distracted and b) left the room with a headache. It wasn’t good.

4. Hydrate & pop a mint in your mouth. Drink water and please avoid dehydration breath. And, to be safe, pop in a mint but make sure it dissolves before you meet with your first interviewer.

Moral of the story: practice good hygiene. It can go a long way in your career.

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Over the last 12+ years, I’ve done everything from work as a global human rights activist to lead marketing & partnerships initiatives at companies like Postmates and Apple. I’ve started businesses, lived in multiple cities around the world, pivoted careers more than once, and know what it takes to turn career goals into a reality. As a career coach & consultant, I’m passionate about sharing all that I’ve learned with you, helping you define tangible goals, and providing you with the tools and direct feedback you need to achieve them.

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