Best Job Interview Hairstyles for Women

By Chris Kolmar - Oct. 27, 2020

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You’ve gone to great lengths to build an impressive resume. You’ve crafted the perfect cover letter. And it all worked. You’ve earned an interview. Now what?

On one hand it might seem silly to worry about your hairstyle at your interview. But, when you really think about it, it’s not silly at all. You put so much into getting this interview. It just makes sense that you’re going to care about your appearance. What you wear to your interview and how you do your hair is a big part of that.

Most Important Hair Tips for a Job Interview

While your hairstyle is important, there are a few hair-things that are more important. Keep these tips in mind and your terrific tresses will look great for your interview.

  1. Clean. You’ll want to have hair that looks fresh and clean. This gives a great overall impression that you care about yourself and your appearance. You don’t have to be a supermodel (unless that’s the job you’re applying for). But everyone should look like they care about themselves. Especially, during these days when self-care is a priority and health matters.

  2. Professional and polished. This is not the time to try something wild and new. Go in exactly the opposite direction and try to look as professional as possible. Your hair should subtly flatter you. Don’t go for a style that will overwhelm or distract.

  3. Off your face. Standard bangs shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have long, wispy bangs that hang in your eyes, it’s time to try something new. Hair that hangs in your face is very distracting to other people. While it might not be unattractive, it can make the interviewer uncomfortable. And that’s certainly not the impression you want to make.

  4. Don’t mess with it. Are you someone who is constantly flipping your hair back? Do you like to twirl it or play with it? It might be hard for you to give up this habit, even for a short interview – but you should try. It’s another thing that can distract interviewers from your answer and it might even make them think you’re not really focused on the interview or getting a job.

How to Wear Your Hair for an Interview

Alright, you’ve got the grooming tips down, now it’s time to focus on the hair style. The following are classic and popular hairstyles that will have you looking phenomenal for your interview. If your standard style doesn’t appear in our list, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a great choice – as long as you follow the rules above.

Interview Hairstyles for Short Hair

Short haired women are lucky because short hair is already seen as a bit more serious, maybe studious, even.

  • Sleek bob. A classic bob is never a bad look. It doesn’t matter what color your hair is or if you wear bangs or not. A sleek bob looks healthy, fresh, and modern.

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  • Soft waves. Beach waves might not be the best look for an interview, they’re a little too casual. But wearing soft waves can be very nice. This look has the polish of a bob but a little more bounce and personality.

  • Pulled back. If your hair is long enough in the front and sides, you can try a pulled back look. Use a soft braid or twist to keep your face clear. A couple little accessories and you’re set.

  • Pixie cut. This look is in again and it’s a workplace winner. This sporty haircut gives you some styling options but it’s so easy to care for that it’s a wash and wear favorite.

  • Layered side part. This layered haircut parted on the side is a huge hit this year. It grows out amazingly. Which means less haircuts. It’s also a beautiful cut on just about anyone. The only thing to watch out for are bangs in your face.

Interview Hairstyles for Medium-Length Hair

Medium length hair is full of possibilities. You can wear your hair up or down, with equal success. The following are a few styles you might want to try.

  • The Lob. This haircut made a big splash last year and it’s holding strong as people are skipping haircuts for the time being. A lob is just a long bob. Nothing fancy but super sleek and professional. It’s a wonderful compromise cut.

  • Textured layers. This gives your hair some body and it looks great straightened and sleek or with soft waves. Both styles work well for an interview, but the sleek look might come off just a touch more professional.

  • Headband. A headband pulls your hair back, adds a touch of personality and looks professional. If your medium length hair is in an awkward stage or you’re battling old bangs, then a headband is a perfect interview accessory. It’s not too fussy and it’s very functional.

  • Faux bun. If your hair pulls back into a tiny ponytail, you can create a faux bun, which is all business. Buns are big again this year and a faux bun can look just as professional as a real one.

  • Up/Down do. This is going to be one of the biggest looks this season, so you’ll want to grab onto it and make it yours. Tuck the top half of your hair into a bun for a half up/half down look. You can also use barrettes or pins to hold the sides back and let the longer layers lay. Not only is this a good look for the interview, it works well on a daily basis, too.

Interview Hairstyles for Long Hair

Long hair is gorgeous and glamorous, but it can look more club-ready than office-appropriate. It’s important to remember what your ultimate goal is when picking a hairstyle for an interview.

  • Braids. The classic braided look has some staying power, for sure. Not all braids are great for the office, the currently hot Dutch braids are a little too youthful. But braids that are swept into an updo have a lot of professional panache.

  • Straight and sleek. Spend some time blowing out your hair into a strict straight masterpiece. You can show off your locks, but you don’t want to call too much attention to them. This is why straight, shiny, and healthy-looking hair is a big yes for your job interview.

  • A low ponytail. The high pony is just too plucky for a job interview – unless you’re trying to get a job as a cheerleader or head coach. If you want a professional look, a low pony is the way to go. It’s classic, clean and it’s got a no-fuss profile.

  • Soft, loose waves. You want to watch it, so you don’t go too romantic with this look. But wearing your hair down with some waves can be a very appealing look that will help you win over your new boss. Make sure your hair doesn’t look over-worked or over-done, go for casual curls and softness.

  • A bun. This is one of the easiest hairstyles to master when you have long hair and it’s a great go-to. The bun is a no-nonsense work hairstyle. It’s a classic for business and it is super trendy, too. The great thing about a bun is you can wear it anywhere you go. They’re okay on top of your head or at the base of your neck. Just try to stay away from space buns on your job interview.

Interview Hairstyles for Natural Hair

If you have natural hair, this is your time to shine. Embrace your curls, your kinks, and your hair’s own personality.

  • Wash and go. Ah, it sounds so easy, but you know better. The perfect wash and go natural hairstyle still takes a lot of work, practice, and product. That said, you know that once you perfect this look, it’s a showstopper.

  • Ponytail. Whether you wear it high, low, or in-between, the classic pony is a good look. It pulls your hair off your face, removes any temptation to touch it and looks polished.

  • Roller set. If you still love the look of your hair straightened, then try a roller set for the interview. This straightens your curls and waves without any expensive process. But if you’ve never done this before, don’t try it for the interview. It takes a little practice.

  • With accessories. A headband, a few hair clips, or barrettes and you’re ready to go. Classic accessories can be a nice touch for an interview. They give you a polished look but add a touch of personality.

  • Short and sleek. Do you have a short hairdo? If it’s a face-framing cut or even shorter, then you already know your look is professional. When short, natural hair is your look, you’re all set. If you’re contemplating a change, this might be the time to go short.

A Note on Virtual Interviews

Working from home and virtual interviews have slid into our lives pretty quickly. Suddenly, it’s okay to clock into your job when you’re still in your pajamas. You can sit on the couch and get as much work done as you once did in an office – probably more. Showers stopped being the way you started your day and a messy ponytail is a must.

But all of that casualness in the house doesn’t apply to interviews. If you’re doing a remote job interview, it’s important to try to look your best. At least from the waist up. If you want to stay in your yoga pants, you probably can without anyone noticing. But you’d better be wearing a nice blouse and have your hair and makeup in presentable fashion.

Now that you’ve figured out how you’re going to do your hair, the next step is to figure out what to wear for your interview. It wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your interview etiquette, too.

Remember your goal is to create the best impression possible. You don’t just want these people to like you. You want them to want you on their team. To do this, they need to want to be around you every day. That’s a pretty tall order, when you think about it.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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