How to style your hair for a job interview

Among all the mistakes I’ve made in my life, there is a full array of wrong hair colour choices, including dying my hair blonde when I was 14, and then switching to ginger, and then going blue-black, and then turning into a creepy colour mix, and then I finally went back to my original colour, which is brown.

What I’ve learned from dying my hair all these different colours, apart from how ugly I was with ginger hair, is that the way people look at you dramatically changes according to your hair colour and style.
It sounds like the stupidest of clichés but the range of guys running after you when you’re blonde is definitely not the same you attract as a brunette, exactly like a couple of plaits cannot compare to a ponytail if you are desperately trying to be pathetic.

To see how different hair colours and hairstyle affect how you come across at a job interview and how you should or should not style your hair, I spoke with ghd Head of Education Jo Robertson

Jo Robertson, UK Head of Education at ghd

Jo Robertson, Head of Education at ghd UK

Hey Jo, how are you?

I’m really good, thank you… and I’m quite excited about this!

It’s always a pleasure to interview excited people :D So, the big question is: how should you style your hair for a job interview?

I think the first thing you need to think about when you go for an interview is: who are you? You shouldn’t be changing your look, so stay true to who you are. Don’t try anything new. You know, the first few seconds that you’ll be walking to the job interview, you’ll make a certain impression, so be authentic.

What about the company interviewing you?

Obviously, you need to do a bit of research about the company that is interviewing you. Ask yourself: who are they? If it’s a bank, you should keep your hair a little more conservative. You need to think about the company you want to work for, their culture and how you can match this while staying true with who you are.

Is there anything, in particular, that you should avoid?

Make sure that you don’t cover your eyes, do well your fringe and don’t keep it too long. That leads us to the next thing: don’t play with your hair during the job interview. Playing with your hair can be really distractive, so if you are somebody who touches their hair when gets nervous… well, make sure you don’t do that. Make sure that you put your hair back so you can stop from doing that.

What about straightening your hair? I have always thought I had to poker straight my semi-curly hair before a job interview, so I looked more serious…

Oh well, I totally agree with you if you want to be a more controlled version of yourself. I’ve got naturally curly hair as well, and when I let it curly I feel a little bit more playful, but if I want to be taken in serious places, I go for a smooth style. But you can also achieve that with curls as well, so if you’ve got naturally curly hair that tends to go frizzy, try to use a tong that will make your curls controlled. Then if you want to stay curl and truth to who you are, you can dry your hair as you normally do, and then you can take a tong or a wand and design your curls, so they will look a bit more finished rather that just like if you just walk out of shower, you know?

I perfectly know, haha.

What I’m saying by this is just to stay true to who you are, don’t try new hair colours or haircuts. And if you don’t like your hair in a ponytail, don’t wear it.

Let’s talk about ponytails, please, one of the most “controlled” hairstyles out there.

If you are going to wear a ponytail, make sure that it is soft. If you have a pony that is really high, a power pony, that can be very hard to wear. You know, on a Saturday night that might work really well, but for a job interview you want to show the softer side of you, you don’t want to be taken too harshly. This is the same issue people have when it comes to what to wear for a job interview: just be yourself, you want to be remembered for who you are, not for what your hairstyle tells about you, so also avoid any accessories that would distract people.

What about hair colours?

Again, don’t try a new box colour just the night before, as you might have an allergic reaction. And always get professional advice about colours, because your hair colour should always match your skin tone. So, keep a natural colour and don’t do anything distractive at all, don’t try anything new, don’t go for a new haircut; if you want to try something different before the job interview, it is not just the right time.

Something like pink hair?

Haha, yes. Just imagine you get a new haircut and you don’t feel confident. If you’re not having a good hair day – I know it is what ghd means (ghd=good hair day) but really – if you don’t feel good, no matter what clothes you put on, the makeup you put on, it just makes a huge difference. It’s all about not changing you. Make sure you know the right products to put on your hair, and check the weather. If it’s going to be a rainy day, make sure you use the right products like a heat protectant to keep it smooth. That’s a good tip as well.

Any final tips for men? Of course, if they do have hair.

Haha, well, sure! So, if you are a man and you do have hair, prior a job interview just make sure you have a haircut, and if you don’t have time for it, make sure that your hair is well-shaped around the top of your ears. Don’t put a lot of products on the hair, either; your hair might be clean, but if you put a lot of wax or other styling products on it, it will look dirty and greasy. So make sure you look fresh, controlled but still fresh and natural, not greasy.

★ Liked this interview and need more tips on how to present well to a job interview? You might also enjoy in what colours to wear to a job interviewhow to wear high heels to a job interview, how to run a seasonal colour analysis and how to look decent in a video CV 

Girl with plaits funny cartoon

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