Can your appearance affect your prospects?

Posted on 16 Nov, 2011

A study conducted by researchers in America has come to some disconcerting conclusions. The idea was to try and establish whether a person’s facial features could have an effect on the outcome of a job interview.

Mock interviews were staged, using both undergraduate students and experienced managers and recruiters. Some candidates had scarring, acne or some other uncommon facial feature, while others had none.

The researchers found that although the response was not conscious, interviewers were essentially distracted by any uncommon features and thus retained less information imparted by the candidate during the interview.

As less content was subsequently remembered, those candidates scored less well. This is worrying news for those who do suffer from acne, have a facial scar etc. The discrimination seems to be unconscious, which makes it very hard to combat.

The researchers hope to use the study to raise awareness of the situation, but for those who feel that their appearance is affecting their opportunities in life, this could provide little comfort.

Luckily, many uncommon facial features can be camouflaged or removed. Tattoo removal, scarring treatment, pigmentation treatment and others can help enormously, both in terms of perception and confidence.