Killer Looks: Is Your Appearance Destroying Your Interview Success?
Do people judge a book by its cover? Like it or not, overwhelming evidence suggests that this is true. Sixty five percent of the total messages sent in a face- to- face encounter are of the non-verbal kind; so in an interview situation, non-verbal cues such as facial structure and clothing speak for you before you open your mouth.
The first impression created by an individual is highly dependent on physical appearance. The perceived impression results in a reactionary response affecting how an individual is judged and treated. Modern research suggests that people respond positively to attractiveness and associate it with positive character traits. Attractive people are considered more socially competent, potent and intellectually capable than those less attractive. In contrast, abnormal features and unattractiveness produce negative responses and are associated with negative personality traits.
One of the most interesting research findings is that a baby’s preference for attractive people is established within the first 3 to 6 months. In the study, the infants look longer at attractive rather than unattractive faces. At about one year, they take a more active approach in that they show a more positive response to attractive people than to unattractive people.
Studies using digitally- and mathematically-morphed facial images indicate that the “averaged” and symmetric face is viewed as more attractive. The basic aim of make-up artistry is to create symmetry and balance in the face, thereby making it more attractive.
For instance, if your eyes are too large it can be corrected using cosmetic, to look smaller and thus create balance within your face.
In an interview, you are marketing yourself to the interviewer and demonstrating how you would perform as part of their team. For women, make-up is an important part of their image and grooming. Classic and understated daytime make-up is the most appropriate.
Make-Up Guidelines for Job Interviews
- Avoid heavy make-up. Go for a natural daytime look. Natural does not mean naked! You can use neutral colors for a polished image.
- Try it out before you go and make sure it is work appropriate, rather than night out make-up.
- If you are scared to put on your blouse over your makeup for fear of getting foundation and lipstick on it, then take a tip from the beauty counter and tuck paper tissues all round your neckline after you put on your top, this way make-up goes on the tissues not you.
- Arrange to have a make-up consultation so that you know what shade of foundation exactly matches your skin tone and what colors work best for you.
- Avoid coloured mascara and eyeliners such as greens or bright blue. Stick with natural colors such as black, black-brown or brown.
- Avoid glittery or high shine make-up. Save that for a night out.
- Always carry a mirror in your purse to make sure that you do not have lipstick on your teeth!
- Cheap Trick: Whitening toothpaste, an eye lash curler, black mascara and lip balm will help you look polished without the price.
- One minute make-up touch up: Keep lipstick, sheer powder blush, pressed powder, oil absorbing sheets (oily or combination skin types) and pocket tissues in your purse so you can put your best face forward in a flash!
- A job interview is the not the time to experiment with silver or bright blue eye shadow.
- If you have dark circles around your eyes, cover with concealer. Dark circles can give you a tired, harassed appearance, which distracts from your goal of projecting a professional, competent image.
- Avoid facial shine. If your skin is prone to shine, use an oil-absorbing moisturizer under your make-up to help absorb oil. You want to avoid the greasy, stressed out look.
- Brighten those eyes! If your eyes look red from lack of sleep worrying about the interview, brighten them with eye drops to help moisturize and refresh your eyes. Nothing looks worse than weary eyes with beautiful black bags underneath them!
- Groom your eyebrows. Perfectly groomed eyebrows shape a face, take years off your appearance and finish your look. Bushy or neglected brows can do more damage than you could imagine.
Dress for Success Tips
Young women seem to have no guidance when it comes to dressing for an interview. I have met interview candidates who have shown up for an interview wearing jeans and halter-tops. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional you must outfit yourself appropriately!
● Short jackets with low-rise trousers are the rage now. This trend leaves you wide open (pun intended) to show your underwear when you bend over. Is this the way to win the respect of your future employer? I think not.
● Too short skirts. Unless you are auditioning for Next Top Model, make sure that your skirt covers your thighs when you sit down.
● Avoid sunglasses on top of your head, headphones around your neck or telephone headsets in your ear. Of course, you should not answer phone calls during your interview!
● Few people can wear clothes straight off the rack. Spending a little extra to have your garments tailored is a worthwhile investment.
Crysande Hochst is a professional makeup artist and beauty therapist based in Trinidad. She has written beauty columns for the T&T Newsday People Magazine and the T&T Express Woman magazine, as well as having done hundreds of makeovers. In 2005, having achieved a First Honours Degree in Marketing and with years of experience as Marketing and PR Manager, she founded Crysande’s Spa & Makeup Studio, which today is a highly-recognized and successful business in the local beauty industry.
Contact the spa at: (868) 692-5615, (868) 347-0147 or (868) 689-1527