Think of going for a job interview like attending a date.
Maria Del Russo reported at Instyle with photos how different hairstyles widely affected the dates, with top knot being the worst at 0 dates out of 18 matches (0%) compared to the best straight hair getting 2 dates out of 32 matches (6%)
So does hair matter in an interview? From the minute you step into the interview room to the minute you exit, your body language and outward appearance are being scrutinized by your employers. Even though the hair seems so minute, you’ll be surprised at how some employers are unpleased with candidates turning up with unkempt hair and disgruntled appearance.
If you turn up for a date looking all sloppy with disarranged hair, your date might be peeved. Similarly, turning up for a job interview with unkempt hair is likely to give off a wrong impression that you’re lazy, nonchalant, or irresponsible.
While your hair isn’t the sole reason to make or break your dream job, it plays an important role in shaping the first impression. If your hair is in a messy state and you did not bother grooming it before the interview or date alike, there is a high chance that the other party will not take you seriously.
This is not to say that you must have the most beautiful hairstyle or haircut for a job interview. Having prim and proper hair gives off a more presentable image that exuberates competence, elegance, and confidence. Lacking other data, employers will assume that an organized look indicates an organized mind as well.
You may then wonder – What kind of hairstyle would then be suitable for a job interview?
Ladies and gentlemen, the general rule of thumb is to look presentable for the job. Free-and-easy hair tends to look unprofessional and unorganized, while a neatly-styled hair is sublime. Here are some tips on suitable hairstyles for an interview.
Suitable Hairstyles For An Interview
If you have medium or long hair and wish to let them down as it is, try opting for natural curls, or waves, for a polished and sophisticated look. This hairstyle is not only stylish but also fuss-free so you don’t have to put in extra effort in maintaining it.
Note, keep it simple so your hair does not steal all the attention!
Again, if you have medium or long hair that you do not want to tie up for your job interview, an alternative to having soft curls is to keep your hair straight and sleek, tugged behind your ears and/or shoulders. This gives off an elegant, studious look that, radiates confidence.
Fun fact: many years ago, I applied for a part-time job at a F&B café as a barista and back then, I had long, straight hair which I hardly tie-up. During the interview, the manager jokingly suggested chopping off my hair if I wanted to let my hair down while working. I eventually braided my hair to suit the café-themed concept since the environment was a casual one.
Quick and easy, fuss-free, usually considered formal and professional by most employers, having a low bun is the go-to for many job applicants. It is a timeless look accompanied by classy vibes, seemingly perfect for any occasion.
This, however, does not include messy buns which are a no-go as the fillers may be distracting. Keep the bun simple and neat, and you’re set for your job interview.
Now for the males out there, you honestly can’t go wrong with properly trimmed hair. If you wish to maintain your medium-length hair, it is advised to gel your hair backward to look neat and polished.
Male or female, brush away all fillers from your face especially since shorter hairs are more susceptible to getting in the way.
Hairstyles to Avoid For An Interview
By this, we refer to rainbow bleached hair with striking colors or neon highlights. They can be extremely distracting and off-putting to the interviewers, resulting in a bad interview experience.
Of course, it depends on the industry you’re in. If you’re applying for a job at a bank, it’s a no-go, but if you’re in an industry that requires an eye-catching image – like an influencer – then that’s another story for another day.
Afro hairstyles and dreadlocks are extremely cool but may be misinterpreted by some employers as overpowering and intimidating, which you’d want to avoid during a job interview.
These hairstyles may also be perceived as inappropriate for certain jobs, so unless it’s your natural hair, it’s best to avoid doing up these fancy styles especially if you’re vying for that job.
Applicable to both males and females, it’s best to avoid hairstyles that are too full or bulky. You wouldn’t want to look too ‘extra’ or want the interviewers to be repeatedly distracted by your voluminous hair.
For men, avoid gelling your hair like a pompadour – instead, stick to the basics such as simple gelling to slick your hair back or tame flyaway pieces. For women, avoid high, girlish ponytails or add accessories such as a bow or headband to stay age-neutral.
When it comes to hiring, the first impression matters a lot. Apart from your past experiences and skillsets, how you appear to the hiring managers is equally as important. Although your outward appearance does not guarantee you the job, it allows you to stand out as a candidate if you leave an impressionable image.
Every part of the job application process counts towards your chances of landing the job. For something as insignificant as your hair, you won’t be surprised at how employers notice every single detail about you!