Article You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so should you wear glasses to your interview? 0 2022 Life coaching Career coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

Should I Wear Glasses to an Interview? (Career coaching perspective)


Almost everyone will make a good impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression. Sonya Parker, coaching tip

In movies, we often see mean people pick on those who have braces, freckles, curly hair, or glasses. People with those “unattractive” features go through a series of makeovers and a grand transformation to avoid being laughed at. Some of them also use glasses as some sort of disguise to hide their identity.

We see Clark Kent go from a well-read journalist to our strong and mighty Superman with just the absence of his glasses and a little bit of hair gel. 

Superman in disguise with glasses, Clarke Kent, coaching tip

Mia Thermopolis from the Princess Diaries transforms from an awkward and geeky teenager with frizzy hair into a “beautiful” princess in her school uniform. 

Mia Thermopolis with glasses beauty transformation into a princess, coaching tip

We have Dwight Schrute who looks like an ambitious salesman and assistant regional manager donning his glasses and middle-parted hair.

Dwight Schrute with and without glasses, coaching tip

And lastly, Jess from New Girl appears to be a dependable and approachable teacher with her round glasses and full bangs.

Jess from New Girl with and without glasses, coaching tip

These stereotyping and standards in appearance have become a cliché in pop culture but do you ever wonder if they happen in real life? Studies have found that people indeed think eyeglasses make someone unappealing (Davies et al., 2018; Leder et al, 2011). 

More than that, glasses can also be associated with our characteristics and traits. According to a study that explores the personalities of glass-wearers, outgoing and socially confident people have been found to wear glasses less than introverts. And when they wear them, they feel less extroverted (Borkenau, 1991). Who would have thought that glasses would have such an impact on personality and vice versa?

While these studies suggest that wearing glasses can be unappealing and make someone less confident, the recent study by Graham and Ritchie (2019) didn’t find any negative repercussions of wearing glasses. They stated that wearing glasses can still be considered fashionable and attractive because we may have already broken away from the stigma of the past. In fact, glasses can also make you look more competent and dependable (Fleischmann et al., 2019). 

So should you wear glasses to a job interview?

Wearing glasses can still be considered fashionable and attractive because we may have already broken away from the stigma of the past. In fact, glasses can also make you look more competent and dependable.

Why do people with glasses look smart?

The idea that people with glasses look smarter dates back to the 17th century. The professions that were considered to require good vision were what we would call white-collar today: doctors, bankers, and teachers. Their jobs required a lot of reading and working with numbers, and the smallest of details mattered.

But if you were a worker at a factory at the time, glasses didn’t have much use to you, because an exceptional eye for detail wasn’t the most needed. 

As such, people have grown to associate intellect with glasses. 

Our faces can hint at our personality and intellectual capacity. Of our many facial features, the first thing that people actually notice is the eyes. We unconsciously spend a long time glancing at a person’s eyes, and according to one study, eye sizes are often used to assess personality (Geldart et al., 1999). 

Because eyes are often noticed, it’s to be expected that when looking at someone, eyeglasses can affect how we form our opinions about that person.

In fact, in a jury, defense lawyers use the tactic of having their clients wear glasses during the trial so they appear less capable of committing crimes. According to Harvey Slovis, a veteran lawyer, his clients were more likely to get acquitted despite a great deal of evidence available on their crime when wearing glasses (Vilensky, 2011). 

Just imagine the power these simple spectacles hold!

Wearing glasses to your job interview, coaching tip

Why you should wear glasses to an interview

So given these historical and psychological facts, should you don some glasses when going for a job? It depends. First, let’s lay out the reasons you might want to show up bespectacled.

You appear more well-read and educated

Now you may be wondering, have we all been conditioned to believe that glasses are for smart people? 

The assumption that people who wear glasses are smarter is based on some truth. A study that tested general cognitive function actually found that on average, people who wear glasses or contact lenses have higher intellect as compared to those who don’t. This is because the trait of needing glasses can be passed down in the genes (Davis et al, 2018). In fact, more intelligent people were 30% more likely to carry the gene that leads to poor eyesight and the need for glasses.

According to research, more intelligent people were more likely to carry a gene that leads to poor eyesight and the need for glasses.

There are specific careers that have high regard for intellectual capacity and experience. If you’re applying to become a professor, lawyer, engineer, scientist, financial analyst or advisor, salesperson, or property manager, perhaps wearing glasses can help in making a great impression.   

You appear more capable of the job you’re applying for

When you look more knowledgeable, you appear more fit for the job you’re applying for because you’ll look like you know how to get things done. You’ll appear as if you put a lot of effort into filling your responsibilities by learning more about them. You may be assumed to be bookish and that you damaged your eyes by reading a lot. You’ll also appear systematic and organized, which is good to have in any type of job. 

According to Neil Handley, glasses cover a fraction of our faces which distracts anyone looking at us enough that they can’t examine our facial features carefully and entirely. And because we lack knowledge about something or we know so little about a person, we tend to assume the best of them.

Glasses can boost your confidence, man wearing glasses

Glasses can boost your confidence.

Like people say, eyes are windows to the soul. You can tell a person’s personality just by looking deep into their eyes, but too much eye contact makes people feel awkward and vulnerable so they tend to shy away. Eyeglasses can distract anyone, including the hiring manager interviewing you, from looking deep into your soul. And with this knowledge on the effects of eyeglasses on people, glasses will definitely boost your confidence when you know it’s backed by research. It’s quite impressive how a simple pair of eyeglasses can change your whole look. 


Styles of glasses to wear

There are a handful of selections for when you’re deciding on a style of glasses to wear to your job interview. It can get tricky but don’t fret, here’s what you should know: any style can work but choosing the right one goes down to the type of job you’re applying for. 

The default glasses that look appropriate for any type of job are black horn-rimmed glasses.

 Woman wearing black horn-rimmed glasses, coaching tip

But if you want to look smarter, perhaps you can try half-rimmed or square ones. 

Guy wearing half-rimmed glasses, coaching tip

When applying for a company that seems youthful, usually marketing or design businesses, you can opt for round metal or printed-rimmed glasses. Choose a unique pattern but don’t go overboard. 

Woman wearing printed glasses, coaching tip

When applying for a sales or networking business, you can opt for a design that makes you look friendly and approachable such as round glasses. 

Guy wearing round glasses, coaching tip

When shouldn’t you wear glasses to an interview

Although great vision is not a requirement for jobs, it can still be a factor when being considered in applications. Requiring perfect eyesight unaided by glasses depends on the role and responsibilities of the job because the ability to see clearly can be a matter of life and death in certain professions such as flying an aircraft or performing surgeries. 

Here are some professions where you might want to consider opting out of glasses if you’re a job applicant headed to that all-important interview.


Lifeguards, coaching tip

People sometimes find themselves in danger when in the water. Lifeguards must be able to swiftly act in emergencies. They need to see anyone drowning or in danger right away which is why they have a high seat by the pool or shore. Moreover, they need to have great eyesight so they can easily find their path when they enter the water.

So if you’re looking to apply for a lifeguard position, it may be better for you to wear contacts instead of glasses to your job interview, in order to make a good impression.

But, let’s say you’ve landed the job, that is the time you opt for glasses. The FDA advises not exposing your contact lenses to any type of water such as tap or distilled water, pools, and oceans. This is to avoid eye irritations and corneal infections. 

Defense Force Personnel

Defense force personnel, coaching tip

In the military, personnel needs great eyesight and hearing so they can identify and deal with local threats straight away. They can efficiently accomplish their missions if they are aware of their surroundings. They need to rely on their vision and hearing to locate menaces and be able to coordinate with other personnel.

When going for your job interview, you may make a favorable impression by wearing contacts instead of glasses. But in the field, it’s actually better to wear glasses because they are less high-maintenance compared to contacts. In fact, some units instill orders not to wear contacts at all. There are also some cases where the military will have to approve the glasses you wear so that can still follow their uniform guidelines. 


Actor, coaching tip

As an actor, showing up without glasses makes you more of a blank canvas that will help the casting director imagine you in a variety of roles. Of course, if you are trying out for a part specifically tailored to glasses, then, by all means, dress the part!

Sometimes actors also portray characters that need to wear glasses as a prop, so to switch between roles faster, it’s easier to just wear contacts and bring prop glasses. When you go to that audition, even if the character uses glasses, it may be better to skip your real glasses and opt for contacts for your audition instead. This way, you can be prepared to take the prop glasses on and off.


Cook, chef, coaching tip

Being a cook means working around in the kitchen, moving and turning in a small space. When cooking, it’s expected that the area would be filled with steam or smoke which may cause your lenses to fog if you’re wearing glasses. To avoid accidents in the kitchen and keep your vision intact, it may be better to use contacts instead of glasses for your job interview, especially if there will be a cooking demonstration. 

Airline Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers

Airline pilot, coaching tip

When people book their air travel, they are implicitly trusting the airline pilots and air traffic controllers with their lives. It is important for pilots to see the controls in the cockpit, the airway when flying, ramps, and flight lines clearly to take the passengers safely to their destinations. 

Air traffic controllers also need great eyesight because they inform the pilots when to safely take off or land and they also direct the aircraft movement when flying or at the airport. 

If you’re applying to be an air traffic controller at a company that doesn’t strictly require great vision, you can create a good impression by wearing contacts.


Athlete, coaching tip

Any athlete understands that failing to perform on a sports field, a track, or any other sporting event when their body fails them is the worst feeling. But the good news is, there’s always something we can do about that! It is totally possible to handle vision issues while being an athlete by wearing contact lenses. So when trying out for a sporting event, it may be better to use contacts instead of glasses to avoid them from falling off or affecting your vision. 


Police, coaching tip

In case of emergencies, police officers must have great eyesight because they are responsible for preventing crime, and maintaining safety and order in the community. If they are to catch the bad guys, they definitely need to see clearly so they can identify them accurately. So, be prepared to wear contact lenses to your job interview to instill confidence and create a favorable impression.


Model, coaching tip

If you were to attend casting as a model and you wear glasses, it’s best to leave them at home and opt for contacts. Your makeup artist and stylist will choose if they want to dress you in glasses or not. You need to be a blank canvas, much like an actor. So opt for the contacts when going to your go-see.

Surgeons and Paramedics

Surgeon, coaching tip

Surgeons and paramedics attend to urgent matters. They need to make a decision quickly while staying composed in times of crisis. To do so, they need to detect what is wrong with a person, especially in accidents or emergencies. 

They need to pay attention to small details when operating because they can’t afford to make a mistake and put someone’s life at risk. Even though some surgeons may wear glasses, you might want to about wear contact lenses to your interview in order to stand out.


Firefighter, coaching tip

Firefighters need great eyesight because they storm through fires, smoke, and dark places to save people and retrieve important objects. They have to quickly discern if there’s anyone or anything that needs immediate attention at times of fire emergencies. 

If you apply for the position of a firefighter, you might want to consider wearing contact lenses to the interview.

In summary, jobs that are detail-oriented and involve responding to emergencies usually require excellent depth perception and great vision. Although the standards vary depending on the employers and type of occupation, perfect vision helps increase your success in doing your job. And thus landing that job if you show up without glasses to your interview. 

What can you do if you don’t want to wear your glasses?

If you need glasses to improve your vision, then you don’t really have to worry about wearing them because wearing glasses is completely normal. There’s a lot of trendy and stylish eyewear available in the market.

If you don’t want to wear them, you can always opt for contact lenses to help you have good eyesight. Contact lenses can correct your vision, although they just need extra care.

Nowadays, it is also very common for people to think about Lasik to permanently correct their vision. Although it’s an upfront cost, over the longer term, you will save money and time versus investing continually in glasses or contact upkeep. 

Thinking if you should wear glasses to your job interview, coaching tip

Can wearing glasses help with your job interview?

When someone wears glasses, we are more inclined to think they’re smart. Studies have shown that people indeed associate high skills and intellectual capacity when someone wears glasses. If you are an applicant, perhaps donning a simple pair of eyeglasses can increase your chances of landing the job. Your chances of succeeding may be increased because your interviewer is more likely to pay attention to what you have to say and regard it favorably. 

But remember, wearing glasses to appear smarter, more capable, and more dependable only applies to first impressions. We cannot always guarantee that other people will remain to see us that way when our actions and words don’t align with what they saw. This is just a tip to ace your job interview. You also need to prepare your whole attire, from head to toe, to appear professional and fit for the job.

Wearing glasses to appear smarter, more capable, and more dependable only applies to first impressions. We cannot always guarantee that other people will remain to see us that way when our actions and words don’t align with what they saw.

Choose to set aside your glasses and wear contact lenses if the job you’re applying for highly values great eyesight. An eye for detail is important in these types of jobs. Examples of professions that regard perfect vision are army personnel, surgeons, paramedics, lifeguards, police officers, and photographers. 

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. Helen Keller, coaching tip

What if I need more help?

If you want more tips on acing your interview, and real life practice, reach out to a career coach. They are uniquely positioned to help you find our ideal career and work on those all important interviewing skills!

You can also read up on our previous collection of career coaching job interview tips:


Interview Do's and Don'ts with sample questions and answers

Interview question tips for the food service industry


What to wear to ace your interview

What to wear to a bartending interview


Learn how to avoid these 10 job search mistakes



Indeed, the idea that wearing glasses makes you appear smarter is backed by research. People have the tendency to make an immediate assumption that someone is intelligent, capable, dependable, and skilled when they are wearing glasses. We have also long seen bookish people portrayed to be wearing glasses in movies or television series so have become socialized to this correlation. If you want more points in making a positive impression, it won’t hurt to try wearing glasses during your interview. 

However, you also have to consider the nature of the job you are going for if it makes sense to wear glasses to the job interview. If the job heavily relies on seeing things clearly, acting swiftly based on what you notice, and attending to urgent matters, then it may not be a good idea to show that you don’t have perfect vision. Detail-specific jobs require great attention to detail so eyesight can be a huge factor in the application process.


Yes, because according to a survey by the British College of Optometrists, people assume that a person wearing glasses is intelligent and dependable which equates to professionalism in the workplace. 


In a study conducted by Davies et al. (2018), the authors explored that genes have something to do with eyesight. People who were smarter were almost 30% more likely to possess genes for needing glasses. This study supports why people who wear glasses are commonly viewed as intelligent, less dangerous, and more trustworthy than those who don’t.


Contact me





Choose a Top Coach for career success today!


The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
We Noticed You're Blocking Ads
We rely on advertisers to help support our free coaching advice.
Please whitelist us.