Facing the interview panel

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MINAL KHONA on how to do face, hands and hair for that job interview

Going for a job interview entails much more than brushing up on your general knowledge, presentation skills and dressing up corporate style. Your face, hands and hair also help in presenting a professional and efficient appearance.
So you think you are ready for that all important job interview tomorrow. You have read up on your core competency and current trends in the market. You probably know some graphs and figures by heart. You have also kept a sharply ironed trouser suit ready with a pin-striped shirt.
But hang on! Did you also check the condition of your nails? Or for that matter, your hair? Most young people will make all the right moves for an interview and yet not pay close attention to their appearance.
Here are some dos and don’ts for the big day.
Make sure you have not been partying hard or staying up late a few nights before the job interview. Too many late nights and alcohol can give the skin a dull, lacklustre appearance, including dark circles. So a week before your interview, ensure you drink enough water on a daily basis and sleep for at least 7 hours. That way you wake up fresh and well rested on the day of the interview.
If you do have dark circles, use a concealer to minimise their appearance. Use a good moisturiser before you apply any foundation. Try and go easy on the base and use a light foundation, if at all. If you can go without, even better. There is a chance you will sweat and the foundation may look patchy.
Go easy on the eye make-up no matter what kind of job for which you have applied. Less is always more for these things. Minimal foundation followed by light, translucent powder with a hint of a blush is enough make-up for the face.
For the eyes, use an eye pencil to outline them. Avoid mascara if you can, especially if you wear contact lenses. It can smudge if something gets into your eyes and they start watering.
If you love your eye shadow, use a matte variant of a subtle shade like a peach or a dull pink. Bright glossy blues and greens are a strict no-no. You don’t want to look like a piece of bling.
With the lips too, go with the subtle look. No matter what shade of outfit you are wearing, a sober shade of nude will match it. Go with a nude, a brown or a matte shade of pink. Stay away from red lipstick no matter how good it looks on you. It is a stereotypical prejudice but for some reason, red lipstick is associated with fun times and glamour. It won’t add to a serious, businesslike demeanour in the least.
Avoid lip gloss with a shine for the same reason. Glossy and bright shades work if you are on a date, not if you are trying to impress someone to give you that job.
Whether short or long, your hair must look neat. You can gel it in place or tie it up in a neat ponytail. For those of you who have highlights, see if you can tone them down by tying up your hair. Or if you could have them coloured in a shade of brown to give you a grown-up look.
Avoid fancy or complicated hairdos which could give you a headache or come undone at an inopportune moment.
Ideally, if you have short hair, wear a hair band and keep your hair away from your face.
If you have hair that can be tied up, a neat, slicked back ponytail works best. None of that bedhead look or an unruly plait like the Bollywood ladies, will work. If you must leave your hair loose, make sure it is neatly combed out, doesn’t look unruly and that bangs don’t keep falling on your face. It can be distracting and will not let you focus during the interview.
You will be surprised how many people notice the state of your hands. So, if you have long nails, make sure they are clean and filed into shape. Chipped nail polish is a no-no, as is a bright shade of red.
If you keep your nails clipped short, again, make sure there is no dirt behind the nails. It can be a big turn off to shake hands with someone who has dirty nails.
You can go with painted nails for an interview but make sure it is a shade of pink or brown that doesn’t clash with the rest of your make-up and clothes. It should not jar either – I am referring to those dark shades of reds and almost-black shades that some young people prefer.
Ditto for toenails too, especially if you are wearing open-toed shoes.
Make sure your shoes are well polished and clean. No scruffy sneakers or shoes with heels that have worn off.
Keep your jewellery basic and simple. Tiny studs in the ears and a simple bracelet or bangle should suffice. A gold or silver chain tucked under your collar is not likely to be visible so that is optional.
Avoid wearing long beads and blingy jewellery. Too many rings and bangles, long and flashy earrings and long chains around your neck may convey the wrong impression. After all, you want to be taken seriously at the interview, not dismissed as a punk.
So go easy on jewellery. A classic pearl necklace and pearl studs should be enough, no matter what kind of job you are applying for.
Keep these tips in mind when you are going for a job interview and you will be able to create the right impression, no matter how tough the interviewer may be.

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