Preparing For the Interview:Before The Paint and Powder


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The Secretary of State has bad days too.

It says, “I do things at the last minute. I don’t plan, I just live…”

Determining what is appropriate for interview makeup brings out a broad stripe of ambiguity about women. The general consensus: Take it easy. Not too much, but don’t come in bare faced either (that’s country!) Recruiters’ blogs and advice articles I have read  quote research  that gives a thumbs up for a lady to wear natural toned makeup applied with a light hand for that touch of professional sophistication for the interview. It says, “I respect myself. I’m together”. Remember our discussion about the “precious moments” before an applicant emerges from the car and how those moments may not be so private? Another bad thing  the corporate parking lot  lookout could catch an applicant doing in the car is applying makeup. It has the tang of disorganization and non-readiness. It says, “I do things at the last minute. I don’t plan, I just live…”

In the single numbered days of my life in a new state, I did the second worst thing: apply makeup in the ladies’ room just before the interview.

Attention to health, rest and  nutrition matters…

After a restless night , I stumbled sleep deprived, and raccoon-eyed into an interview at a temporary service agency in the state my family had just moved to having no professional contacts, no social ties and not a clue about looking for work at the tail end of the 20th century.

After the interview, the image I caught in the ladies’ room mirror appalled me. How on earth had I let myself get into this state? and…how is this outdated shade of lipstick still in my purse? Sure enough, the impression I left with the hiring associate at that agency was not a positive one and relations with that outfit went unhappily ever after. Fixing the personal self-esteem damage that experience did to my morale  took scrubbing, bleach and therapy.

The fact that my old address was still on my woefully dated  resume was bad enough, but that is a discussion for another day.  The spotlight (or that horrible light in the bathroom) is on the fact that  I was caught plain faced and tired looking when I should have been well rested, energetic, and prepared. I should have rescheduled that interview. Attention to health, rest and  nutrition matters even before the first stroke of foundation goes on and no amount of make up can cover its lack .

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