Are first impressions the most lasting? Many say yes, and even if you don’t, there’s a good chance the people conducting your next interview will. Why risk putting anything less than your best face with the name they’ve only seen on your resume?
Beauty consultant Sheila Hansen, owner and makeup artist at Chicago’s If a Goddess Wore Makeup, shared with CareerBuilder some simple grooming tips that just might tip that interviewer’s initial opinion enough to get you the job. Here are Hansen’s top five for men and women:
- Give yourself extra time to get ready. Wake up in plenty of time to shower and shave without having to rush. Pick out what you’re going to wear the night before and make sure everything is clean, fresh and pressed. Shoes should be clean, un-scuffed and polished if needed.
- Consider your hair (all of it). Schedule a haircut a few days to a week before the interview. Go for a stylish cut rather than anything too trendy. Avoid wet styling products and go for a more natural look. Make sure any brow, nose, ear or facial hair is trimmed.
- Give your hands and nails some attention. Fingernails should be trimmed short, be clean with the cuticles pushed back. Even guys can use a bit of unscented hand cream applied only to the back of hands, not palms.
- Go easy on the cologne. Skit it or apply very sparingly. Many people are allergic or sensitive to fragrance. You don’t want the person conducting the interivew to start sneezing or feel distracted by your scent.
- Don’t let your lips look nasty. If you tend to have dry, chapped, flaky lips, do something about it. Rubbing lips with a damp washcloth is a great way to exfoliate the dead skin; follow with a non-shiny lip balm.
- Treat hands and nails with extra importance. Schedule a manicure the day before the interview or give yourself one at home. Nails should be on the short side with a square or slightly oval shape. The perfect nail polish is either clear or a sheer, natural pinky-beige.
- Think about your hair in advance. Do you need a haircut or a color touch-up? If so, see your stylist a few days to a week before the interview for a trip and to take care of any dark roots. Your hair style should be fashionable and attractive but conservative rather than too trendy. Keep your hair away and out of your face.
- Apply makeup to help you look professional. if you normally don’t wear makeup and are unsure of how to apply it, have a makeup-savvy friend help you out or go to a department store makeup counter for a complimentary application to pick up a few tricks. The look you’re going for is a natural one: concealer and foundation (if needed), a touch of blush, one neutral-color eye shadow, a bit of eyeliner just along the top lashes, one to two coats of mascara (groom and fill in brows, if needed) and a soft lip color that’s not too shiny.
- You want them to remember you, not your fragrance. This is definite the time to go easy on scent or skip it all together. A touch of scented boy lotion might be a better idea.
- Carry along a cosmetic bag with a few touch-up products. Include things as simple as a comb or a hair brush, blotting papers for oily skin, a few Q-tips in a Zip-lock bag and take care of any eye makeup smears, lipstick, hand cream and you’re good to go!
“How to Look Your Best at the Interview.” Career Rookie Spring. 2012: 12. Print.