Words by Phoebe Martin
When it comes to job interviews, first impressions are everything. With so much to consider already - cover letters, resumes, and the infamous “tell me about yourself” question - navigating interview beauty can be overwhelming. How much makeup is too much? How do I stand out while maintaining an aura of sophistication?
To answer these burning questions, we asked recruitment pro Lauren Dick to provide us with the inside scoop on the dos and don’ts of job interview beauty. The founder of Relier, a leading fashion recruitment and training agency, Lauren is an expert in all things career related.
What is the first thing a potential employer will notice about your appearance?
“This all comes down to how the potential employer feels you will represent their brand. First impressions count! Whether you are applying for a client-facing role or not, your potential employer will be assessing the level of effort you have put into your appearance. It is less about noticing something specific about your appearance and more about assessing how much effort you have put in and your interpretation of the presentation standards of the company. It is important to present in a way that is both polished and considered in an interview, no matter what role or business you are applying with.”
“You should use personal presentation as a way to show your potential employer how you would present yourself from head-to-toe if you were successful in their business. This means you should consider the aesthetic of that business and dress like you've already scored the job. Are they a casual or corporate company? Are they glam or pared back? Are they fun and creative or serious and poised? Use your personal presentation to highlight your alignment with their brand and this will give you a competitive edge in the interview.”
What are the big no-nos of job interview makeup?
“Missing the mark with the company's own tone of voice. There are no blanket rules here. Instead, you should consider what the brand's positioning is in the marketplace and how the current team present themselves. If the current team opt for a glam look, do so in the interview. If the current employees have a more pared back or less-is-more presentation style, mimic this. It all comes down to your ability to represent the brand in the right light.”
How should you wear your nails to a job interview - should you stick to neutrals or show your personality?
“I vote neutrals. We love a clean girl nail for an interview - at the end of the day, the hero of your interview should be your job experience and personality over anything else. If you are having fun with colour elsewhere (perhaps a lip or an outfit choice), a neutral nail will pare things back.
"A one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to makeup in a job interview just won't cut it."
Lauren Dick, Founder of Relier Group
How should you style your hair?
“I love a slick look in an interview personally - I think a simple slick bun or pony is a great option that complements any other interview look. This can highlight other things like a lip colour or your chosen accessories (I love a simple touch of gold). But truly, there are no rules here. Again, it's a great opportunity to do some research into how the other employees present themselves - check out the brand's Tik Tok or Instagram for some staff style tips!”
What is your biggest piece of advice for acing job interview hair and makeup?
“My biggest advice is to keep it simple, polished and on brand. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it really is all about showing off your interpretation of the brand. It's not about going wild or being out there, it's a simple way to show you just get it. So do your research here, but keep in mind, the hero of the interview will always be your skill and your charisma. Charisma is king so be sure to connect and be your authentic self in the process as this is that special something that makes you stand out from the others.”
- Eye of Horus / @eyeofhoruscosmetics
- Relier Group / @relier___