So, you have an interview, and you’re worried about maintaining a balance between looking professional and still looking like yourself. This is a confusing and unique struggle, particularly for younger women who are new to the professional world. Navigating the challenges of what to wear to an interview is a hassle all its own, but some women don’t even think about how to wear their hair when interviewing for a new job. It may not seem as important as your demeanor and your clothing choice, but the way you style your hair does contribute to an interviewer’s first impression of you.
Luckily, there are many more ways to style your hair for an interview besides pulling back into a severe and relatively unattractive bun. This guide will introduce you to some options that will allow you to look professional and capable, without making you look twenty years older.
Simple Interview Hairstyles
Half Up-Do: The half up-do is a great interview option because it works for essentially every kind of hair. Short, curly, wavy, long, and straight hair can all be tamed relatively easily by the half up-do. This is also a good choice if you have bangs to worry about when you style your hair; you can leave them down to frame your face or pin them back with the upper half of your hair. Sweep the top half of your hair back from your ears, being careful not to pull too tightly. Pin the hair back with bobby pins or a barrette, or even tie it with a ponytail holder if your hair falls out of pins easily. Use anti-frizz serum to tame fly-aways and keep the shape of the half up-do. This hairstyle allows your interviewer or interviewers to see your face, but you still have some freedom to style the bottom half of your hair, showing off the color and texture. This style looks particularly pretty with soft curls or waves.
Simple and Straight: If you have hair that can get unruly when it comes to humidity or other factors, a safe bet for an interview is using some heat protection product and flat-ironing your hair. Wearing your hair down and straight is simple, subtle, and understated. Nobody will be paying attention to your hair; they’ll focus on you and the interview. In the meantime, your hair will still have a great shine and a sleek texture, especially if you don’t usually use a flatiron. However, if you tend to play with your hair when you’re nervous, stay away from leaving it down for an interview, because the nervous environment can make fidgeting with your hair far too tempting. You can still flatiron and push your hair back away from your face with some bobby pins or a thin headband.
Professional Ponytail: Luckily for literally everybody, the ponytail is slowly becoming acceptable in the professional world. A messy style that indicates you didn’t have a lot of time to get ready can be transformed simply by leaving a small bit of your hair out of the ponytail, and wrapping it around the ponytail holder. It’s simple, but brilliant. Of course, you’ll want to use some anti-frizz product and a fine comb to pull your hair back in the first place, creating a sleek and neat look. This works equally well with ponytails of low or medium height, but it can look a bit less professional if you secure your hair too high up on your head.
The Sock Bun: Somewhat recently, someone figured out a way to make hair look like it had been perfectly tucked into a bun by a professional, using a sock. This requires cutting the toe section off of the sock and then rolling it up until it takes the shape of an O. You can find sock bun tools, which look a lot like mesh donuts, at essentially any pharmacy or store that sells hair products. The sock bun look is achieved by pulling your ponytail through the O and wrapping your hair around it, spreading the hair around the circle until the material underneath is completely covered. This will be much easier if you have long and thick hair, though it can still be accomplished with shorter and thinner styles. Secure the bun with bobby pins, and resist the urge to touch it!
Slicked Back: Slicking your hair back can require a lot of product and practice, but the end result gets the hair away from your face and gives you a more fierce and serious appearance. To slick back your hair, you’ll need to straighten it first. Then use gel or an anti-frizz product to push the hair at the top and front of your head straight back; you should not have a part in your hair. You can secure this look by pinning the hair at the sides of your head back with bobby pins, and be sure to finish the whole thing off with hair spray.
French Twist: If you want your hair out of your face and off your neck for an interview, the French twist is a great option. There are some tools, similar to sock bun tools you can find in retail locations these days, which make French twists incredibly simple. These tools allow you to clamp the ends of your hair and roll it up towards your head, securing it in place with a clipping mechanism or bobby pins. To accomplish this look with only bobby pins, secure several vertically on the back of your head, pushing all of your hair to one side of the pins. Gather your hair and twist it as tightly as possible, then pull the hair upward, inserting bobby pins into the twist itself to hold it in place.
Side-Swept: If you have long hair that you like to show off, you can use bobby pins to sweep your hair to one side of your neck, allowing it to flow over one shoulder. There are several ways to do this, which will give the appearance of a more sophisticated side pony. This works well with wavy and curly hair, though straight hair will look sleek and sharp as well.
Almost Any Braid: Any hairstyle that involves braids, apart from pigtails, can be made to look elegant and professional in an interview setting. One option is gathering your hair at the nape of your neck, braiding the ponytail, and wrapping it around itself to create a sophisticated braided bun. You can also braid your bangs, letting the braid disappear into an up-do. Braids can be playful and associated with youth, but they can also add some glamour to your interview hairstyle. At the very least, braids indicate that you’ve put a lot of effort into how your hair looks.
Confidence is Key
Remember, your appearance is definitely important at a job interview, and being able to appear well put together is a priceless skill to have, but stressing too much about that can really mess up the opportunity you have to land the job. If you’re qualified and you mesh with the people interviewing you, it won’t matter that a stray piece of your bangs was at a weird angle the whole time. And if you’re not the right fit, your perfectly styled ponytail isn’t going to sway the decision in your favor. Try to relax, do something with your hair that makes you feel like a more professional and powerful version of yourself, and stride into your interview with confidence!