The Dos and Don’ts to adhere to when going for an interview can be very long and winding. Yet, you still have to make sure that you do everything right when going for that interview, not just to keep the interviewers happy but also to increase your chance of getting the job.
Today, on things to do (or not to do) when going for an interview, we look at hair – should you go for that interview with long hair?
Is long hair considered unprofessional?
In this day and age, there are many things that are now considered the norm, even in the workplace, which means that as long as you get the work done, you could easily get away with many of your ‘unconventional’ lifestyle decisions. But when it comes to long hair, especially on men, it turns out that this is one of the more thorny subjects, with most workplaces considering long hair on men unprofessional and unacceptable. As a result, men with long hair are often seen to be limited to specific professions and career paths, and even then, the long hair has to be kept extra neat.
The good news is that many companies around the world are now loosening up on all matters of hair, and an increasing number of men have been seen keeping long hair, even in what would be considered to be the most professional settings.
All these mean different things for men who love to keep longer locks – you can have long hair, but only in specific lines of business or professional circles, but there are many other corporates and institutions that are against long hair. At the same time, keeping long hair and not being questioned is often easier and considered more of a conventional practice for men at executive levels. As a result, you hardly ever find entry-level professionals like financial analysts with long hair – ponytails or dreadlocks, but you could see these hairstyles among the managers and executive-level bosses. This is common in professional office jobs, which means that walking into an interview for an entry-level job might not be the best move for you if you wish to get the job. But if the setting of the new job is laid back or even casual, having long and neat hair might not be considered unprofessional.
For women, however, the rules might be a little more relaxed, and just because you have long hair doesn’t mean that you may not get the job. As long as the hair is neat and tidy, you’d be good to go. Long hair can help up in a ponytail, meaning that long hair doesn’t necessarily get in the way of your interview of future job prospects.
Is long hair bad for an interview?
Bad is a bit of a strong word, but in some professional settings, going for an interview with long hair is largely unacceptable. Applications for internships, scholarships, and other formal career programs often feature strict regulations regarding your qualifications, clothes worn to the interview, and hairstyles. The reason for this stems from the need to maintain a ‘professional look, which means that anything that looks the slightest bit shabby would be considered ‘off-brand,’ and you may be disqualified by virtue of what you wore or looked like.
So, if you aren’t sure about how to dress for an interview and you are not ready to go for the clean-cut look, you should maintain a neat look. Hold back your hair neatly, and make sure to dress right – right-fitting 2-piece suit or jacket/calf-length skirt in the darker/ more conservative colors. Wear comfortable dress lace-up shoes or close-toed slip-on shoes that match your clothes.
Moisturize your hair at least a day before the interview so that it looks lustrous and beautiful, and touch it up with gel or spray or cream to keep off flyaways and to avoid a frizzy appearance.
For ladies with long hair, go to your stylist a day before the interview, and get a layered look, also something to add volume and keep the hair moisturized. If your hair is colored in an extreme shade, you might want to recolor the hair to a more acceptable color.
Is it better to wear your hair up or down for an interview?
Well, you could opt to hold your hair up or down for the interview, depending on the job you are interviewing for, and also the style that makes you look and feel more confident. Your confidence plays an important role in your getting the job, and you need a hairstyle and outfits that elevate your confidence and appearance easily.
So, if you have long hair, you could go for loose waves or if your hair is curly, let the curls fall down your back – you could braid the hair the night before for a nicer wavy style. Just use smoothing out serum to keep the curls sleek and smooth.
You could also opt for a classy bun, a long braid, or a ponytail. Twist-up your hair into a long, smooth braid to keep your hair from the face and for a more professional look. Just don’t hold the bun too tightly.
How should you wear long hair to an interview?
- Side part– if you have long or shoulder-length hair, you might want to go for the side part for a more professional and classy look. You could also use a barrette or a clip to hold the opposite side in place, especially for really long hair.
- Side ponytails and buns– securing your hair just above the nape of the neck is the other stylish option for you to hold your hair, especially if you are interviewing at a progressive company.
- Classy Bun/ Long Braid/ Ponytail– if you feel more confident with all your hair held up in a bun, a ponytail, or a long braid, you could try this style for the interview.
- The straight and sleek look– get your hair straightened out and smoothened out for that sleek, professional look.
- For men with long hair, it’s advisable to hold the hair back and use a gel or cream to hold the hair in place and to avoid flyaways.
Thanks to the changing times, you can attend that interview with long hair, as long as you keep the hair neat, sleek, and professional-looking. Also, make sure that you feel as confident as you look and dress right.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.