A reader writes:
I recently began interviewing candidates for a position at my company. I found a candidate I really liked, and introduced her to my higher-ups. I think she’ll get the position, but their complaints about her were that she wore too much makeup:
1- She was wearing fake eyelashes. The men asked me if they were real or not, they had no idea.
2- She had a lot of eye makeup on.
Maybe you could write a post about how to dress for interviews, and the workplace in general? You don’t want people to rule you out because you look Jersey Shore. My higher-ups both said they would have written her off immediately if she hadn’t had my endorsement!
I’m just going to quote a comment left on a post earlier today by commenter Tax Nerd:
“Dress appropriately. Err on the side of conservative until you figure out the dress code (written and not). For women in particular – short skirts, cleavage, hooker heels, spaghetti straps, and bare midriffs are probably not okay unless you’re interning at a fashion magazine. Scratch that, unless you’re modelling for a fashion magazine. Dress like the kind of professional who gets paid for their mind.”
That last sentence is exactly right: If you want to get paid for your mind, present yourself that way.
Rightly or wrongly, false eyelashes, heavy makeup, cleavage, fishnet stockings, showing your thighs, and anything you’d wear to a club are all off-limits. People aren’t going to take you seriously if you interview that way (or show up to your job that way), because you’ll be conveying that (a) you’re focused more on how you look than on what you can do professionally, and (b) you don’t know or don’t care about professional norms.
When in doubt, err on the conservative side. You’re not going to jeopardize anything by wearing less eye makeup.
Readers: Please now entertain us all with stories of inappropriate things you have seen worn in professional settings. Bonus points if you were the one wearing them.