You’ve nailed the application process and have bagged yourself an interview for your dream job – congratulations! You know what interview dress code you should follow, but what about your frizz-ball hair? You’re worried about maintaining a balance of stylish and professional and still looking like yourself. Many people tend to overlook how they do their hair and just focus on the attire, but you must remember that hiring managers judge the overall package - hair included.
Luckily there are many ways you can style your hair for an interview. This guide will give you an insight into the best hairstyles, whether your hair is long, short or curly.
Long and medium length hair
1. Half-up, half-down
This is everyone’s go to look; whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly, it’s a trend that anyone can crack. What’s more is that it goes with almost any outfit. If you don’t feel comfortable with an updo, wearing it half-up will give you the confidence of wearing it down with the added professionalism.
2. Simple and straight
Don’t fret if you’re not on the adventurous side, there is a suitable interview style for everyone. You can keep it simple by wearing your hair long and straight with your hair tucked behind your ears. This sleek hairstyle oozes sophistication and shows off your face without you ‘trying too hard’.
3. Professional ponytail
I know, most of us look like a five-year-old when attempting a pony – the only thing missing is a floral scrunchie; this isn’t the ponytail I am talking about. I am referring to the classy low-pony that we can all nail – think more Kim K than Ariana Grande. Your hair parting can be on the side, or in the middle, wherever it naturally falls; just make sure it’s straight, your hair is smoothed and there aren’t any flyway’s. If you have hair irons, run them through your hair before tying it at the nape of your neck. To make this trend more effective grab a strand of your hair from the bottom of your pony and wrap it around the band and pin it with a grip.
4. Ballerina bun
This quintessential interview bun ticks all the boxes; it’s chic, keeps your hair off your face, looks tidy, and appears low maintenance and stylish all at once. To perfect the look, invest in a mesh hair donut, wrap your hair around and use grips to pin it in place. Once finished spritz a bit of hairstyle to tame the unwanted flyways. You can accomplish this celebrity hair-do in minutes!
If you want something a bit edgier than a classic bun, opt for the top-knot. If your interview is more formal opt for a tight bun that sits on the top of your head. If you’re interviewing for a position within the creative industry you can mess the bun up and make it look more stylish. As well as looking sophisticated, a high bun will also show off your bone structure in a lovely way.
6. Braids galore
Not all of us are gifted in the hairdressing department, but if you can nail a good braid these styles are for you. Wow your interviewers with a French plait, a halo or a hairband braid. If you want to go all out, try a tight fish-plait. To learn how to successfully do all the braid trends, follow Cosmo’s step-by-step tutorials.
If you have luscious long hair that you like to show off (or simply can’t be bothered to do anything with it), you can use bobby pins to sweep your hair to one side of your neck, allowing it to flow over one shoulder. This style works well with wavy and curly hair, giving it that extra texture. But, it will still work with straight hair, just ensure that it looks very sleek and not a frizzy mess.
8. Classic chignon
I’m sure you’ve seen Blake Lively and many other Hollywood actresses sporting the Classis Chignon on the red carpet, but now you can carry this look too. First part your hair and twist both sides and fasten it into a low ponytail with a hairband. Then take the remaining hair that’s dangling and loop it through the twisted sections and viola you have yourself a chignon!
9. Loose waves
For an effortless look you can opt for some loose curls; ensure you’ve created these curls with rollers, a curling wand or straightening irons to reduce frizz. If you want to add that extra shine run serum through the curls with your fingers.
10. Pin to one side
If you’re short on time, a ‘pin to one side’ hairstyle is your go-to look. All you need is a bit of hairspray and a few bobby pins to secure the hair into place. If you want a professional look, you can even twirl the hair as you style it and lock it into place. For a hair salon look, work on hair that has already been styled and is frizz-free. For example, you could curl your hair before styling it or work on freshly washed hair (if it’s curly).
11. Use a hair accessory
Fancy hair accessories can elevate your appearance. So, if you have a basic interview outfit, opt for a fashionable hairband to finish off your look. Channel your inner Blaire from the original series Gossip Girl and select a hair piece that suits your interview attire. Just make sure your hair is frizz-free and styled before slipping a hairband on.
12. French twist
While this hairstyle may look difficult to re-create, it’s, in fact, one of the easiest ones on this list. To perfect the French twist, hold your hair in a ponytail with your left hand as close to the base of your neck as possible, with your right hand tightly twist the hair in a counterclockwise motion and secure with bobby pins. Use a bit of hairspray once you’ve finished styling to set everything in place.
13. Twisted bun
Twisted buns have been blowing up our social feeds for years and they are definitely going to stick around for many to come. There are many variations of styling this look, but the easiest is to separate your hair into two pigtails, twist them, and secure each end with a hairband. Then, simply twist the braids together in a bun and secure the loose ends with a bobby pin by tucking them out of site and underneath the bun. Of course, you’ll need to set it all into place with some hairspray.
14. Side bun
A side bun is a fun and tasteful way to tame your curls with an added hint of elegance. Whether you wear your bun natural or braided, try a low side bun, situated just at the nape of your neck.
15. Crown braid
Similar to the braid mentioned above, you can rock the crown braid with no fuss. Remember to brush through your hair before-hand to take all the knots out. I know it’ll look like you’ve had an electric shock, but it will look amaze-b*lls once you tame it in.
You can never go wrong with an updo for an interview, and hurray for you, a curly updo looks miles better than a straight one. You can do so much with your curly hair; you can go for a twist effect or slightly edgier by leaving a few curls hanging loosely. To perfect this chic look, pin your hair while it’s damp to maintain and perfect where you place your curls.
If your curls are really tight and hard to style by yourself, focus your styling efforts on framing your face and leave the back as you have washed it. You can add a few twists at the front with triangle partings to make your look stand-out. To smoothen your hair, use a gummy pomade product to prevent little hairs from sticking out.
18. Half updo
As with long-hair, you too can perfect the half updo! Use a de-frizzing serum to smooth the hair and use grips to pin it in place. If you want to add some extra volume, use a pin-tailed comb to separate the sections and slightly back-comb at the roots (without making it look like a birds nest).
19. Au naturel
You don’t have to ruin your natural hair by adding chemicals to straighten it. Embrace your curls, there are thousands of women out there that wish they were lucky enough to have hair like yours. Just make sure you keep your hair out of your face; you can apply gel, serum, and up the hydration to keep the frizz away and keep your hair looking polished.
20. Tidy locks
Many people worry that if they have dreadlocks, then they will be misjudged during an interview, but don’t fret! Follow this hairstyle for a tidy up-do that will keep your locks in place and out of your face. If you’re strapped for time, you could select one of our other suggestions like half up, half down or a ponytail.
21. Smooth bob
If you’re unconvinced by the power and sophistication of a smooth bob, look no further than Anna Wintour. The Vogue editor-in-chief has been rocking the hairstyle for years and she continues to dominate the industry. Follow in her footsteps by running the straightening irons through your hair and slightly tucking the ends inwards.
22. Textured crop
If your hair is more like Frankie Bridge’s (from the Saturdays) rather than Anna Wintour, ensure your short hair doesn’t appear flat and dull in your interview. To create a contemporary look without appearing messy or undone; use some texturizing spray to damp strands and allow to dry.
23. Sleek pixie
The ultra-short length of a pixie haircut is perfect for the professional environment. By wearing your pixie sleek, you’ll create a sharp and chic appearance. To ensure the look doesn’t become too bold or striking, opt for a side part to soften the overall look.
24. Short and wavy
Short hair can also look stylish and modern when worn with a soft wave. Opt for a side parting if you are interviewing in a creative industry. Before you leave the house, make sure you spritz your hair with some lacquer to give it that added volume.
25. Straight lob
This popular hairstyle is the go-to for young professionals. Wearing your lob straight will give it a clean and chic look. If you’re lob touches your shoulders, opt for a style that has a little texture and some added volume. You can use an oomph powder to give you texture from your roots.
First impressions are everything during a job interview. So, while your experience and skills are what will bag you the job, the way your present yourself will help you ace your interview and demonstrate your professionalism.
Midge Wilson, a professor of psychology at DePaul University said to Elle, “Regardless of length, the key is giving the impression that your hair is low-maintenance: Short and manageable or, if it's long, pulled back into a chignon or low ponytail—so that you're not shaking it out of your eyes, tucking it behind your ear, and wrapping your finger around it…These kinds of things can be very distracting and can send the message that you aren't task-focused.”
So, while your outfit choice and hairdo should not be the priority during your interview preparation, how you present yourself could still be a contributing factor to a hiring manager's decision.
Which of these hairstyles are your go-to for job interviews? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 26 September 2017.