Should you take your status symbol to a job interview?

- By Dr. Di

Let’s say you have a new Gucci bag or a cool expensive tee shirt with a recognizable logo.  We all know the importance of looking good, dressing neatly and appropriately for a job interview.  But, should you wear that status tee shirt or carry your Gucci bag, thinking those things would impress the interviewer?  Well, be careful.  Research shows that the answer may be NO.  It depends on what job you’re going for and how you want to come across.

Researchers at Northwestern University, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, found that your status-symbol accessory may not have the desired effect, unless you’re going for a job where power and status would be a plus.  Say, a mid- to high-level job in public relations or in marketing for a luxury product or a hospitality manager of a boutique resort – go ahead and wear that Rolex proudly.

But, if the job you’ve applied for needs someone with warmth and kindness, someone who’s trustworthy above everything else—like a kindergarten teacher, social worker, or retail salesperson—then counting on the status symbol to impress may backfire on you.

It’s true that some studies have shown that people perceived to have power and status get special benefits in some areas of life; but, in most job hunting, and even in making friends, you may want to leave your status at home.