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Asked by Richard on August 12, 2014

I just graduated and I'm starting to interview for jobs. To help my confidence during my first couple interviews I wore my Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak. It helps me feel like a Jedi and that I can accomplish anything. Both interviews were very short, like less than 15 minutes. I felt confident during the interview and thought I was giving strong answers, but both interviewers seemed uninterested. Was wearing something that helped my confidence that bad? Do most companies just want cookie-cutter employees? I mean, I had a tie on under my cloak.

Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on August 12, 2014

As much as I truly do enjoy the Star Wars franchise (I’m more an Empire person myself) I have to say that choosing to wear what you must know is considered a children’s costume, outside of cosplay, to an interview was not the best decision as evidence by the response given by your interviewers.  Unless you are applying for positions that are centered on Comic-Con, auditioning for work in the movies or theater, and/or working specifically as an extra on the next installment of the Star Wars franchise leave the cloak at home for your next interviews.  I would suggest using a smaller item that is more easily accepted and not visible to help as a physical reminder of courage.
It is not about being a “cookie-cutter” employee, but it is about showing a level of professionalism and respect for both yourself and the individuals who have taken the time to speak with you about their company and the opportunities therein.  Coming in a costume to an interview instead of in business professional dress shows a lack of respect for both the interviewers and for yourself.  I would suggest that you go to your career services office and sign up for some mock interviews and have your resume reviewed until you feel more confident and comfortable participating in an interview, then go back out into the field and interview again.     

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Answered by Elizabeth, Hiring Expert at HCA Healthcare, on August 13, 2014

I would say that anytime you are interviewing, focus on doing all you can to not do things that distract from your ability to convey your qualifications for the job. This is especially important in terms of appearance. You want them to hear you share about your experiences and strengths, and often if your attire is distracting from that, you are actually doing yourself a disservice, even if it might seem like a good idea to differentiate yourself. Stick with conservative attire, and try to express yourself in different ways, like stories that reflect your strengths.

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Answered by Emily, Hiring Expert at Fifth Third Bank, on August 13, 2014

Obviously the force wasn't with you. .

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Answered by Kathleen, Hiring Expert at ADP, on August 14, 2014

It is possible that your Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak scared the interviewee off? However, I love your creativity because it’s important to stand out from the crowd in an interview. Most companies don’t want “cookie cutter employees” but it’s possible the hiring manager couldn’t take you seriously. First impressions are everything and you want to be sure to represent yourself well! Build your confidence by sitting in your car prior to entering the building for the interview and listen to your favorite upbeat song to pump yourself up.

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