I am going to take job interview photos next week. However I don't know the next best thing about photography. I don't want to go to the shooting unprepared though. So I hope you guys can enlighten me as to what I have to look out for in a job interview photo.

As this is probably too broad:

  • Where can I find resources to find out if the photographer did a good job with my job interview photo?
  • What separates a good interview photo from a bad one?
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    \$\begingroup\$ What is a job interview photo? Do you need to submit a photo of yourself to apply for a job in Germany? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it is customary to submit a photo of yourself in your job application/curriculum vitae. I want to go to a professional photographer, so it is done right. But i also wondered, what he will do better than me.. \$\endgroup\$
    – tarrasch
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've never heard of interview photos outside of maybe working at Hooters or actor's head shots. Is this a common thing in Germany? If so, why? \$\endgroup\$
    – DA01
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DA01 "Yes, it is customary to submit a photo of yourself in your job application/curriculum vitae." I doubt there's any particular reason other than that's how it works in that culture. If you don't look professional, respectable and/or fitting for the position they don't need to waste both party's time with an interview. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ That seems bizarre...given that it's a way for companies to be open to discrimination accusations. That said, with today's social media expectations that everyone have a mug shot online, I guess it's becoming the norm. For that matter, there are professional photographers that now advertise social media portraits...perhaps that's something to look for. \$\endgroup\$
    – DA01
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 16:43

3 Answers 3


I think you're asking

1) What you should keep in mind when the photographer is taking a photo of you

and 2) What the photographer may do better than you can yourself?

Being Prepared for the Photo
You want to make sure that the photo is representative of who you are and that you look your best. Stray hairs, small blemishes and wrinkled clothes are a lot more noticeable in photos so it's a good idea to make sure your hair is done, your shirt is ironed and maybe even apply some makeup if you're having a bad skin day. Basically, look how you want to look on the day of the interview and you should be okay. Overall, it's the photographer's job to make you look good so he/she should be helpful on the day of the shoot with making sure you aren't making strange facial expressions and little things like that.

Benefits of going to a photographer
The photographer is a professional, has experience behind him and if it's customary in Germany to provide a photo with your CV, the photographer will probably know what to do and what employers specifically look for. The biggest thing you'll notice between what a professional photographer will do and what you will achieve with a home photo is lighting. A pro photographer should have the appropriate lighting set up which will genrally give you a better exposed photo and eliminate things like harsh shadows on your face. Those are just a couple points but if you're using this as a headshot for something important like a job application it's a very good idea to go to a professional photographer.

It's quite worth the investment to pay for a professional shoot, as the end product will likely be much better than what you'll produce at home. Also, the one investment for the photograph will give you something you can use for several job applications and you can very likely use it several years down the road if the current job doesn't work out.

I hope this was helpful, and good luck with the job application.


Is the photo required for your job application? If it is for the CV or similar and it is not strictly required, are you sure that is a good idea (i.e. do you know if your perspective employer really appreciates it)? In my experience the small format of the photo in the CV and the (usually not exceptional) print quality doesn't do a good service to the job applicant.

In any case if you really have to go for it you should make sure that your portrait is clear and communicates a good first impression of you. So avoid "intriguing" looks, strange hair make up, strange dress style, for some definition of intriguing and strange.

And try to achieve a good print quality (your facial features must be at least discernible) which is something that I have seen not happening in various CV.

Good luck with your job application!

  • The background of the portrait should be plain, not designer.
  • The background colour shouldn't be hard on eyes.
  • The background colour and the person's clothes colour shouldn't be similar.
  • The person's eyes shouldn't be closed.
  • The person's mouth shouldn't be visibly open.
  • The person should be asked to take his hat/glasses off.
  • The person should be asked to look into the camera.
  • The person shouldn't be shown touching his face/hair in the photograph.
  • The person should be asked to dress up in formals.
  • The person's n shirt buttons shouldn't be left open.

Well, these points are w.r.t the kind of resume photographs expected for jobs in India. YMMV.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If a person usually wears glasses and if the glasses are not obstrusive, do not mask features, are you sure that one must remove them? This could affect the expression of the job applicant (if one is short sighted and accustomed to having his glasses on one could risk an undesiderable funny face...) \$\endgroup\$
    – Francesco
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Francesco Actually in India, AFAIK, for driving licences, voter cards etc. we are asked to remove the glasses. Veils are also not allowed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 11:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ In Italy, for passports, if your glasses don't have a huge frame which covers your facial features, you are allowed to keep them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Francesco
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 11:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not quite related to photography, but for job interview you want to dress in blue. There are researches that indicate that blue gives a first impression of professionalism. The person should be asked to show confidence, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to mention it: For a passport photograph in Germany you keep your glasses. Now OK, mine are rimless, so not obtrusive, or very large, but if you wear glasses all the time/regularly they are very much a part of your "face". And are one of the features that make you recognizable. Having said that - I'm not sure what would happen if your glasses were rather noticeable... \$\endgroup\$
    – DetlevCM
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 21:28

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