I believe it depends on the company, industry or position in which you are hiring for. In some cases, appearance is very important for marketing and a companies first impression to potential clients. In my opinion, if an employee deals with customers/public directly then part of their job is marketing the company. In those cases, like most promotional marketing positions, appearance is a key factor.
Yes, but based on what job is being offered, if it is a customer interactive job then defenitely it is needed. A beautiful and smiling face makes a person feel good.
Hell, yes! I'm in maintenance at a nursing facility, and some of the CNA's they hire look rough enough at the interview, but become total ragged alley cats after a month or so. The family members of some of the residents don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from some of them and question whether the aide is competent at all. Appearance is everything in the service industry. You don't have to be a model, but you have to care about your overall appearance, amount of makeup, and clothing, as well as attitude. Some of the sweetest people have an ugly exterior, and it's unfortunate that people see the exterior FIRST.