5 Must-Have Hair & Makeup Tips For a Job Interview


It’s not like you didn’t nail the interview. You spell-checked your resume. You made sure to maintain eye contact even when your eyes started to water, and your outfit definitely was free of coffee stains and cat hair. So why didn’t you get the job? It could have been your makeup, hair, or nails.

“People might not really notice when you’re put together, but they will 100% notice when you aren’t,” says bestselling author Nicole Williams, who is also LinkedIn’s Career Expert. “Looking polished is an important part of any job interview, whether it’s with a startup or corporate company.” We agree that even if you’re trying to nab a super-creative role, keeping your look smart is the way to go. Here Williams’ shares her top tips for presenting yourself well, every time.

1: Look the part. It will make employers think you'll fit in at the office. “If you’re in a three-piece suit and your interviewer is in a T-shirt, he or she might think that the atmosphere won’t be right for you.” But, when in doubt, Williams says, it’s better to overdress than under-dress. “You can never go wrong with a simple LBD, she says.” If you’re not sure what the dress code is where you’ll be interviewing, check LinkedIn or the company website to see if you can get a feel for what employees wear.

2: Do your hair. It may seem obvious, but “you only have one chance to make a great first impression,” says Williams. She suggests that you show up with a well-groomed ’do—give yourself a nice blowout or do a polished bun or updo (nothing messy!). If you have the money and time, consider a professional blowout, which Williams thinks might be worth the investment (and who doesn’t feel like a million bucks after getting their hair done?) “Many people tend to think about hair as the last thing they do before an interview, but it’s honestly one of the most important steps, in terms of how you present yourself,” says Williams.

3: Skip the nail art. Your hands are one of the first things your potential employer will see. If you don’t typically wear nail polish, Williams suggests shaping your nails and adding a coat of clear polish. But if you prefer color, make sure it’s fresh, not chipped. Keep things simple. “While nail art may be in style, it also might look distracting,” advises Williams.  

4: Wear natural makeup. It's totally acceptable to wear makeup, but keep it natural-looking. “This isn’t the time to try out new shades. You never know if that bright lipstick will wear off on your coffee mug or smudge,” says Williams. For an interview, your best bet is to go with enhancing natural features, rather than doing anything too overt on eyes, cheeks, or lips.

5: Err on the side of conservative. “You don’t need to walk in designer shoes or an it-label bag but, whatever you wear, make sure it’s polished,” says Williams, who recommends avoiding too-short skirts and low-cut tops. 

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