Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Should You Wear Makeup To a Job Interview?

In a recent poll conducted in London, England, a group of employers were asked if they would hire an individual who appeared to their interview without makeup.  A large percentage said no, they would not hire the individual.  When asked why, the majority stated that while the individual was probably educated enough for the position, they failed to make a good first impression by not caring enough to to look and dress appropriately.  Now does this potentially sound like a sexist comment?! Probably.  But now-a-days wearing makeup to work or a job interview in many professions is right up there with men being forced to shave and appear clean cut. So why is it ok for women to not wear makeup to an interview, but to tell a man he must should probably shave in order to make a good first impression "not sexiest?" 

I decided to ask all my friends who currently are in a position of interviewing potential candidates for employment about this scenario.  In both cases they stated that a man appearing for an interview unshaven and a women appearing to the interview with no makeup on would fail to make a good impression in their eyes.  The majority stated that they would expect both male and female to bring their "A Game" for the day. 

So after reading this poll and speaking with my friends I decided to put together a list of makeup tips do's and don't for when attending a job interview!

Do Wear Makeup! Don't Over do It!

Remember at a job interview you are there to impress, not scare the interviewer.  Keep makeup light and fresh by using neutral tone colors.  Stay away from red lipstick, smokey eyes and wild vibrant colors.  While all those looks are awesome, but they also have a time and place for everything.  You don't want to seem like you are going clubbing right after or make it hard for the interviewer to stare you in the eyes with all that black eyeshadow on.  Remember "less is more" in this case.  Moreover don't experiment with new makeup or new looks.  If you never tried it before, then now is not the time.  The last thing you want is your new bottle of foundation that you never used before to oxidize and  turn you orange!  I seen it happen!  Stick with what you know on that day! Leave the rest for after!   

Do Wear Mascara! Don't Wear Over The Top Lashes!

While many believe the eyes are the windows to the soul, however with that being said if your eyelashes resemble more spider type legs or Kim Kardashian's type eyelashes, then you know you gone to far.  Try wearing one or two coats of mascara to open up your eyes and give you length, volume and curl.  Stay away from any look that belongs on the runway.  Remember you are probably going for an office position.  Keep this mind when it comes to your eyelashes and wear them appropriately for the day.  You don't want anyone staring at you wondering what the hell is going on on your eyes.

Blush, Highlighting & Contouring

The latest thing in the makeup world is highlighting and contouring!  However for job interviews keep it simple.  While just about everyone wears blush over their cheek contouring, to much blush will make you look like a clown. Moreover, heavy contouring and highlighting can make you look like you have drag makeup on during the day.  So in this case, don't over do it.  Keep it simple so that it still gives your face definition without look like you belong on the red carpet.  Its important that your makeup make your facial features stand out but not so much that it makes someone wonder if those cheeks bones are really yours or not prosthetic implants like Lady Gaga!  

Keep Eyebrows Normal!

Lately the Instagram eyebrows are literally everywhere.  However no matter what you want to tell yourself, drag queen or sharpie eyebrows do not look on everyone or let alone hardly anyone.  Feel free to fill in your eyebrows to give it some definition.  However, don't do them to the point where it looks like you grabbed a black sharpie or where you belong on the movie "Bird Cage".  Keep them simple. Over drawn eyebrows do draw massive attention to your forehead area.  You want the interviewer to pay attention to your eyes (not your eyebrows) when you speak and the words coming out of your mouth.  So be careful here as eyebrows do frame your face and can totally be a distraction to others if you don't take caution.  However with that being said, make sure your eyebrows are properly manicured.  Having un-manicured eyebrows can make your face look dirty and unkempt.  So either pluck them or fill them in appropriately before the interview.  

Do Your Nails/Manicure

Keep your nails neutral.  Either stick with the classic French Manicure or stay with a neutral color.  A light pink can work as well as long as it doesn't look like a cute bright pink outfit you put an adorable baby girl in.  Again you don't want to draw attention to places that don't matter.  However with that being said, if you are a non-nail polish person then settle for a colorless manicure.  Don't appear to an interview with broken, uneven, dirty, jagged torn nails.  It looks unprofessional and unclassy. Remember, you are probably looking for a job in an office and not a construction site.  So make sure your nail look appropriate for the job setting.  

Keep Your Hair Style Simple

When it comes to your hair, same rule applies.  Keep it simple!  Don't start experimenting on that day with a new hair color or do's you have never tried before.  Wear your hair either down in lose tamed waves/curls or straight.  Keep it away from your face so that the interviewer can see your eyes.   And for God sakes DON'T TOUCH OR PLAY WITH YOUR HAIR!  This is very poor etiquette to play or touch your hair while in a meeting/interview.  It can come across that you are either nervous or not interested.  So keep your hands off your hair at all times unless you need to move it away from your face.  Which brings me back to my first point. Why was it in your face in the first place?!  If you plan to do an up-do then a simple bun or pulled back ponytail works as well.  Stay away from to much teasing or hairspray in order to get volume.  Again, keep it simple.  You are there for a job interview and not a hair commercial.  Unless you are there for a hair commercial... then that's a different story!

Now some final thoughts that I think should go without even being noted.  However I have seen these happen before.  Make sure to shower and wash your hair before attending any interview.  No one wants to be stuck in a room with someone who looks and smells dirty or like they just rolled out of bed.  Moreover stay away from perfume.  Many offices due to allergies now-a-days have a "no scent policy."  So unless you know ahead of time, stay away for any scents or perfume.  However if you know ahead of time that the office is ok with  scents, then keep your perfume light and simple.  You don't want to give anyone a headache with a strong scented perfume which I have seen happen.

Make sure to brush your teeth and have mints on you just in case.  However don't go in there chewing gum or with anything in your mouth.  Chew your mints BEFORE hand and not during the interview.   Stay away from gum as you might forget your have it in your mouth and might walk into the interview chewing it.  Chewing gum or playing with a mint in your mouth can and will come across very unprofessional.  Again, it's what's coming out your mouth that matters, not what you have in it. 

Wear clean, washed and pressed clothes.  Don't wear dirty, smelly clothes that look like you just took out of the laundry basket un-pressed.  Make sure your clothes also resemble the work environment you are interviewing for.  In some offices, certain attire is mandatory.  However lets say you are going for a modelling job, wearing a suit may not be in your best interest.  So check the industry out ahead of time so you know what to wear and what to steer clear from! 

Finally and above all, make sure your hair, face and outfit all match up together.  Don't get creative or too over the top.  Again keep it simple but elegant.  You only have one shot, so make you first impress with not only your words, resume and brain, but with also your looks.  It all goes hand in hand when you know what you are doing and are prepared ahead of time!

So there you have it! My makeup, hair and hygiene tips that can possibly help you land that job interview!

Keep Smiling!


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  1. As a preacher, I would NEVER get hired by any church if I wore makeup! :)

    1. Well that's interesting because as a retired youth pastor whether I wore makeup or not; it never prevented me from preaching, getting hired or doing my job in church. I guess it depends the church or sector you come from in Christianity that puts emphasize (or not) on this factor.

  2. wonder why didn't they ask those employers if they'd hire a man with a "five-o-clock shadow" then. I'm sure the percentage would be different than them not hiring women without make up. Sorry, it shouldn't be that way. No fair. :P

    1. Funny you say that because I questioned the same thing. However when I asked my friends who do hire in their companies, they said they would probably not because they felt the man looked unkempt and unclean. Other's said it depended on what the five o'clock shadow looked like depending the time of the day. So I guess it really does come now to perception and first impressions. But good question because I asked it myself :)


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