I’ve been applying for jobs again lately and the part that I hate the most is obviously the waiting and hearing nothing back, but it’s preparing for job interviews. I start to get nervous and then my skin breaks out and everything never works the way I want it to.
I haven’t had an interview in a good two years but here are some tips.
- Use products that you know work well for your skin. Just before an interview is not a good time to start experimenting with new products. You just don’t know how your skin will react.
- Do a face mask the night before your interview. Your skin will feel fresh for the next day. If you’re prone to oily skin, a clay mask will work and if you have dry skin a hydrating mask will make a difference. You can do home made ones or bought ones but again, make sure it’s something you’ve used before. If you need some ideas, click here.
Keep it simple. You don’t need alot of make up and natural is usually best. Of course you can add one statement section but keep it appropriate.
- Eyes: Smokey dark eyes may look great but instead of black, maybe use a lighter brown or grey.
- Instead of black eyeliner, use brown to soften your eyes.
- One coat of mascara is enough.
- Fake eyelashes do not need to be inserted.
- Eyebrows should be well groomed.
- Lips: Choose a colour that suits you. Bright colours are more than ok but note that some people are turned off by bright colours so nudes or subtle colours may be better suited.
- Exfoliate your lips before applying lipstick. This is as simple as smothering vaseline on your lips and brushing softly with a toothbrush for a minute or two.
- Ensure that if you are wearing a bright colour, that you have set it well. You may need to reapply just before arriving and it’s worthwhile to apply lipliner, then lipstick and blot.
- Base: Moisturise thoroughly, wait a few minutes then apply primer, wait a few more minutes then apply foundation. If you add extra steps in between such as for sunscreen, wait a few minutes between each layer.
- Keep it natural. You don’t need more layers than usual. Remember, foundation should provide even coverage and work with your skin rather than as a layer to cover everything.
- If you use liquid foundation and are prone to sweating when nervous, make sure you have blotting paper or tissues. If this is you and you use sunscreen, it may be worthwhile to skip it this time around. You don’t want your face to be super shiny in your interview. If you are prone to this, setting with powder can help.
- A natural glow is all that is needed when using blush or bronzer. A gentle sweep is all it will take. Remember that you want your base to be natural and flawless.
If trying something new, practice beforehand but know that whenever you want something to work, sometimes it just doesn’t. Leave yourself enough time in case you need to start all over again.
Hair and Nails
- Hair: Should be clean and well groomed. The general consensus is to wash your hair the day before so it’s not so clean that it’s hard to maintain but not so greasy that it looks gross.
- Keep it simple again. A pony tail or bun is perfectly acceptable. Hair down is also fine but make sure you tuck it behind your ears to appear more groomed.
- Coloured hair can work against you (I’m talking bright pinks/purples/greens etc) so if you do have colour in your hair, rethink whether it’s appropriate for the job you are going for. This also applies to facial piercings. This isn’t about not being able to express yourself, but rather providing the best first impression possible.
- If you are about due for a haircut, do it before your interview but don’t try something brand new as you may hate it or can’t work with it. Stick to what you know until afterwards.
- Nails: Should be clean and well groomed. They don’t need to be manicured but clean nails are important.
- If you have a bright or noticeable colour, make sure that your nails are flawless. It is very easy to spot chips in dark colours. In this case, nudes or subtle colours can work to your advantage as you have to look very hard at someone’s nails to spot any major flaws.
- Patterns and colours look great on nails, however if you are going for a corporate type job, it may just be best to keep it simple and stick to one colour with no patterns. Just for first impressions sake.
- Don’t wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in. If you feel your skirt is too short before you leave home, that feeling will intensify once you’re at your interview.
- Don’t show too much skin. If you choose to wear a skirt, remain fairly covered on top. This doesn’t mean you can’t show any skin but too much skin can be a downfall.
- Low cut tops are out. Period.
- Pants should be tailored and hems should be flawless.
- Shoes should be well looked after. Check your shoes and if the pair you want to wear are a little worn, see if polishing them will help. You may need to get them reheeled or resoled to make them more appropriate.
- Again on shoes, wear comfortable ones that won’t slip and that you can walk in. I used to wear flats and then change into heels until that day when I was interviewed on the 17th floor only to have a fire alarm in the middle of it. Walking down 17 flights of stairs in heels I wasn’t comfortable in was not fun.
- Ensure that you have an appropriate bra. Black bras with a white top can look stylish but not really appropriate for an interview. Neither is very obvious bra straps.
- Your bag should be good quality. And if it’s not, it should look as if it is. This can be as simple as ensuring there are no noticeable scratches/buttons missing/zips broken etc.
- If in doubt, pants, blazer and white shirt will work wonders if you don’t know what else to wear.
- Accessories should be used to give yourself a bit of individual style but less is more. For statement pieces, you really only need one piece. Keep everything else simple.
These tips are obviously guidelines only. There are plenty of professions where bright make up or casual dress is appropriate so obviously it’s up to you to determine. I personally think with job interviews it’s better to be safe then sorry so if you’re not sure of the dress code, still to looking professional or, you can always ask!
It’s also worthwhile, at any stage to go through your wardrobe and have the perfect interview outfit already picked. That way if you are called up on short notice you will know exactly what you can wear. It’s an even better idea having two outfits picked, one that includes pants and one that includes a skirt. This will also ensure that you are prepared for weather and also prepared in case you don’t have time to shave/wax/laser etc.
These tips can also apply to other avenues, such as weddings and formal occasions.
Do you prepare your hair/make up/dress for interviews or just wing it?