You have landed a big interview. Congratulations!
Now, as the nervous excitement rolls in, it’s time to prepare. This entails much more than researching the company and practicing answers to questions about your resume. It also involves making sure you look professional and polished. Not only will you look the part, but you’ll also feel more confident — a key factor in landing the job.
Here are some dos and don’ts for prepping your appearance for an upcoming interview:
Clothes and Shoes
Do ensure that your shoes are shined and cleaned. Your clothing should be neatly pressed. This seem obvious, but it’s important to point out: Clothing should be free of odors and stains.
Don’t wear clothes that are ill-fitting or shoes that are difficult to walk in. You want to concentrate on the interview, not on how uncomfortable you feel.
Do prepare your hands and nails for the all-important handshake. Trim your fingernails neatly and file away any rough edges. Make sure your nails are clean and tidy. Apply some hand cream for added softness. If you wear nail polish, make sure it is free of any chips. Opt for clear or classic shades such as reds, pinks, neutrals, or a classic French manicure.
Don’t nibble on your nails during the interview. It’s a common nervous habit — and you’ll surely have some nerves — but it can also be off-putting. If you tend to bite your nails, try wearing an anti-biting polish or spray the day of the interview.
Do pay a little extra attention to your hair. Make sure that it is neatly combed and brushed away from your face. Men may want to get a haircut a day or two before the interview. Women should wash and style their hair neatly, or wear it away from their face in a low ponytail or a casual updo, such as a chignon.
Don’t wear your hair wet to an interview — even if you tie it back. This may give the impression that you were in a hurry or didn’t take time to properly prepare.
Do put your best face forward. Wash your face and use a gentle scrub to exfoliate skin before the interview. You may also wish to invest in a gentle chemical exfoliant, such as a liquid beta hydroxy acid (BHA) or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product. These types of exfoliants are not only excellent for flaky, dry skin, but they’re also great for those struggling with oily skin and blackheads.
Don’t use these products untested right before an interview. Try them in advance to make sure they don’t cause irritation or redness.
Do wear makeup that is light and professional (if you typically wear makeup). Stick to daytime-appropriate, understated makeup that highlights your features. Choose a neutral or rose lip color and neutral eyeshadows in taupe and brown shades. Go with blushes that are subtle and bring out a healthy glow, such as peach and coral shades. Apply lip balm or a moisturizing lipstick. Lips should look healthy and moisturized, with a matte finish or slight sheen.
Don’t choose bold makeup in unconventional colors. Avoid using highlighter or any metallic makeup products, such as eyeshadow or lipstick with metallic hues. Although these products can look fun and beautiful, they’re best saved for evening or a more casual setting.
Do brush and floss your teeth to ensure you have fresh breath. Shower and use deodorant, but use products with little or no fragrance.
Don’t use heavy perfumes or colognes. Some people are very sensitive to fragrance, so your risk irritating your interviewer. If you smoke, don’t do it before the interview. Don’t chew gum or mints during the interview.
With these simple guidelines, you can put a confident foot forward and focus on what matters most: landing your new job.
As a dual-licensed cosmetologist and esthetician and a beauty writer for Walgreens, Pamela Miller enjoys sharing beauty and skincare tips to help build confidence for interviews and recruiting.