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Perfect Job Interview Hair

Everyone knows that the job market isn't getting any easier to break into, which is why it is becoming increasingly important to give yourself every advantage that you can get when applying for employment. The most important steps you can take obviously include such basics as sharpening up your resume, rehearsing answers for the interview, and dressing professionally, but an under-appreciated tool that can make or break an interview is how you wear your hair.

Choosing a hairstyle is a delicate balancing act whose end goal should be to set yourself apart from the competition without standing out. In other words, your hair should complete a polished look and give off an air of professionalism, but it shouldn't be distracting.

The importance of achieving this desired look cannot be understated. According to several studies, employers make split-second judgments of a candidate based solely on their appearance. Regardless of whether this is fair or unfair, it does mean that unkempt or unruly hair can tangle up any chances that you may have had before you even have the chance to shake hands.

In this article, we will go over the essentials of hairstyle etiquette required for making a good impression during that coveted job interview.

Tidy it Up

In general, it is considered good practice to wear your hair in a neat and orderly fashion, avoiding 'dos where your hair has free roam and could possibly end up obscuring your sight or requiring a quick flip to get it out of the way. Even small gestures such as brushing your bangs away from your eyes could prove an unwanted distraction and make a bad impression, especially if this is required at several points during the interview.

The other problem that untamed hairstyles can create is the temptation to play with your hair. This is a natural tendency for anyone with long free-hanging hair, and the temptation can be compounded when under high-stress situations such as a job interview. Playing with your hair -- or with anything, for that matter -- is a big no-no that immediately signals to the employer that you are uneasy, when you should come across as comfortable.

Know Your Job

More important than defaulting to a conservative hairstyle is to know the job you're applying to, and preferably even the person who will be interviewing you. Conservative fashion may work well in a corporate office, but it may not fly for those applying to positions in a hair salon, the fashion industry, or even in creative office spaces such as an advertising firm. In such scenarios, it may not only be acceptable to let your hair down but even recommended. If possible, scope out the people who work there in order to give you a better idea as to what's considered acceptable or popular.

Smoothly Polished

Regardless of what hairstyle you choose, it's critical to ensure that your hair is frizz-free, shiny and healthy. Having the aforementioned characteristics will go a long way towards accomplishing that "polished" and professional look that employers desire in their hires.

One way to achieve this look is to try treating your hair with a keratin hair product. Keratin is a naturally occurring protein that is found in our hair and which can work dreams on frizzy, damaged, or wild hair. It's also available in practically any type of product imaginable, from deep-cleaning shampoos to on-the-go sprays.

Subtle Accessories

If using accessories in your hair, avoid products that are overly distracting, such as beaded headbands or brightly-colored clips, and never use an accessory that might be construed as immature, or more fitting fastened to the hair of a teenager rather than a professional. Go for simple but stylish accessories with a color that matches your hair or blends in seamlessly.

Style Ideas

So which hairstyle should you choose? That depends entirely on the type of hair you are endowed with, and the type of job you are applying to. However, there are a few hairstyles that are usually seen as safe bets.

Though the classic "bun" is perhaps considered an office-fashion cliche, it has gotten there for a reason. The bun keeps your hair tight and in control, and can be cute to boot. One style of bun that is popular around the water coolers is the French twist. Though it can be involved creating the desired variation of the French twist, the results are almost always elegant, stylish and professional. Another option that gives you similar amounts of control is the ponytail, which is a great alternative for showing off some style savvy.

For those who want to wear their hair down, a good option would be to use a simple clip to secure your hair around the back of your head. The simplicity is one of the reasons this works so well, and sends the message that you care about your looks without being fussy.

If you have curly hair, you might have to put a little extra effort in to eliminate frizz and make your hair shiny, but embracing your curls can be a great way to show off your natural hairstyle and make an impact without making a statement.

Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure to practice your hairstyle at least twice before putting your foot through that door. Get comfortable with your style, and be proud of your hair. Good luck!

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