If you're pounding the pavement in search of a better — or even your first — job, it's only a matter of time before you're called in for an interview. And believe it or not, your beauty look has a lot to do with whether or not you land your dream position.
The key is to understand the importance of first impressions. Your goal should be to convey your competence, neatness, and attention to detail — and all of those things can be communicated through your appearance. More importantly, when you feel confident about your appearance, you'll be able to focus on presenting your qualifications and experience. Here are some practical tips that you can use before your next job interview.
Hair: Keep It Simple
- Wash and dry your hair the night before the interview. By getting that out of the way, you'll save time the day of the big event.
- If your hair is long, consider pulling it back in a ponytail. This way, you won't be tempted to absentmindedly fiddle with it.
- Even if you don't use hair spray every day, a light dusting of it will keep flyaways at bay.
- Don't wear a hat as part of your ensemble. If you need a hat to keep yourself warm, remove it before entering the building, and peek into a mirror to remove any traces of hat head.
- Skip the flashy hair accessories.
- Keep your hair out of your face at all costs. Long bangs falling into your eyes are sexy for a date, but they won't project a professional image. If you need to get them out of your face, using a simple barrette or bobby pin is a fine solution.
Makeup: Less Is More
- Give yourself extra time. If you take five minutes to get ready in the morning, allow yourself 15. It's better to build in some wiggle room.
- For your face, you probably won't need much more than concealer and loose powder. If you have blemishes or uneven skin tone, by all means, use a foundation! But if you don't need much coverage, just skip it.
- The night before your interview, exfoliate chapped lips by scrubbing them with a warm, wet washcloth. Follow with a generous coating of lip balm. Before the interview, use a sheer lipstick to give lips a hint of color. Nars Dolce Vita ($26) flatters a range of skin tones.
- Wear lipstick, not lip gloss. Gloss is too shiny and youthful for a formal occasion like an interview.
- Use eye shadows in neutral shades such as tan, brown, and cream. A little bit of shimmer is fine, but stay away from adding a lot of shine to your eyelids.
- Mascara and a thin line of smudged pencil eyeliner are really all you need. Skip the liquid liner, even if you can apply it like a pro.
- Well-groomed brows show that you pay attention to details. Tweeze any stray hairs that threaten to give you monobrow, and if you have brow gel, use it to set your brows in place. (A tiny bit of hair gel, diluted with water, can do the same thing.)
- Applying a little bit of blush makes everyone look healthier. Use this rather than bronzer for a natural-looking, healthy glow.
Fragrance: One Easy-to-Remember Guideline
- Don't wear any. You don't want your interviewer put off by a scent she doesn't find appealing. Everyone is different. Skip it.
Nails: A Few Tips
- Unless you have naturally clean, even, hangnail-free nails, get a manicure.
- It doesn't matter whether your nails are long or short, but they should be neatly filed.
- A neutral nail is foolproof, so look for barely there beige and pink polishes. Classic red can work, too, but use your judgment: it'll probably fit in at an ad agency but not at a conservative law firm.
- Skip the french manicure; some people think they're classy, but others think they're corny, so just go with a single color.
Finally, smile. All of the primping and grooming doesn't mean a thing if you aren't excited to be there. Good luck!