How to overcome your attractiveness and bag that great job

'Good looks holding you back? Don't worry, just let it be known you are sexually inadequate. Try casually mentioning that you drive a BMW X5 – everybody knows what that means.'

New research shows that being an attractive man may actually count against you in job interviews. According to a study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, good-looking males are perceived to be more competent than their less attractive counterparts, and are therefore discriminated against in work environments where other males view them as competitors.

This may sound counterintuitive, but not to me: it’s a prejudice I’ve faced all my life. I’ve lost count of the number of jobs I didn’t get because my looks intimidated a male interviewer. Fortunately, I’ve developed some strategies to counteract this bias, which I’m happy to pass on to any men who find their looks are holding them back.

Don’t be emasculating

The reason male interviewers feel threatened by good-looking applicants is because they associate attractiveness, however irrationally, with competence. Try undercutting this assumption of competence during the interview: arrive late; profess to have little idea of what the position entails; reply to questions about previous employment with the words, “Whoa – let’s not even go there.” Even after I perfected this strategy, there were still many occasions when I didn’t get the job, which gives you some idea of the mountain I’ve had to climb.

Assert your attractiveness from the outset

Let the interviewer know that you know how good-looking he thinks you are, and that you expect to be treated fairly in spite of it. I like to walk in and introduce myself by saying: “Just because I’m handsome, it doesn’t mean my name is Handsome.” Sometimes they stare, but I’m used to that....more