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Red lipstick and the job interview

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by ThePowderKeg, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. ZombieGirl

    ZombieGirl One of the Regulars

    The top you wear underneath could really change it up too. A dead white top or a black one could make the whole thing look like you should be serving the champagne and hor's deourves (spelling?) but a softer color could really pull it together.
  2. I am also surprised by the black hose rule. I wear black opaque tights all through winter, but for day wear I think nude hose look much more polished.
  3. I like black hose, so I was always pleased by this. I had one mentor who told me that if you wouldn't wear it to a funeral, you shouldn't wear it to an interview. (A funeral being the most conservative event as far as dress.) I was taught (conservative area and culturally specific) that nude hose was considered "showing off" your legs. (I believe, and someone can correct me if I am wrong, that among the most conservative religions that dictate feminine dress that non-nude colors of hose are prefered (either white or black), for this reason).

    Granted, I have to say that my field is extremely conservative when it comes to these sorts of things. In other fields, a pink pant suit will get you where you want to go, just not in mine. My field is also extremely male dominated, and while the focus is on making it obvious that you are a woman and not a man (hence the skirt), you shouldn't make it too obvious that you have female charms (hence the dark hose). (Men who interview should wear a blue or black suit, not too agressive tie, and a white shirt, black socks, with black tie shoes, and belt in my field).

    When I say male dominated, I spoke to one individual who was looking for female applicants, because they had never had a female in their department (since the 1960s when their program started). This is not a case of the 60/40 or 70/30 split you see in many faculty. They are, in many ways, still adhering to the standards of the 1970s in interviewing.
  4. Out of curiosity, what is your field, Sheeplady?
  5. I work in an area of IT that is typically placed in most business schools (technically called Information Systems- it is a bit different than computer science, which teaches programming). As you move up the educational ladder, the number of women achieving and seeking these degrees decreases rapidly. In IT, there isn't many to start with at the bachelors level, so it becomes much more obvious than in other fields where there are more women to start with.
  6. ThePowderKeg

    ThePowderKeg One of the Regulars

    I got the job!!! Thank you to everyone here for advice that helped me go into my interview looking proper but still feeling like myself.

    Now I get to treat myself to a few new wardrobe pieces, but I'm waiting to see what the new culture is like before I go crazy. The new employer is a software company, so it will be a much different environment than academia, where I've been for the last 12 years.
  7. Isis

    Isis One of the Regulars

    Cngratulations Powderkeg!
  8. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    congratulations powder keg! So you've left academia... I'm trying to get in! :) I'm going for a job interview next friday. Sans red lipstick I should add :) but in a shift dress and cardi and some vintage jewellery! Sufficiently like me I think, but hopefully professional looking.
  9. ThePowderKeg

    ThePowderKeg One of the Regulars

    Good luck! Academia can be great. There are definitely plenty of interesting people. :)

    One of the things I'll miss most: the nuns. I work at a Catholic college that was established by nuns, and a lot of the sisters that are still on campus were students here in the19 40's-60's. They have a great perspective on how things change and tend to appreciate my vintage aesthetic. They're very intelligent, determined, classy, articulate women and I'm sorry that I won't have that presence so close to me any more. A lot of them have fantastic senses of humor as well. Not always what you'd expect.
  10. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Congratulations on your new job!

    For the benefit of other readers who asked about interview suits, at the large accounting firm where I work, ladies interview in plain black pantsuits. Now and then, you'll see a gray one on someone too pale to wear black well.

    I agree with Lady Day that you don't want to be remembered as "the one with the red lipstick." You might not think red lipstick (or puffy sleeves or hairdos of a thousand bobby pins) are a big deal, but to someone who isn't used to seeing them every day, they make an impression that has nothing to do with your skills.

    As they say where I work, "When in doubt, DON'T."
  11. lareine

    lareine A-List Customer

    I am so surprised and shocked that people would say red lipstick is not appropriate. That attitude seems very fusty to me but maybe it's a regional/cultural thing. I say go for it if that's how you feel good, and if you can put it on without looking like a clown! (Not everyone can.)

    For the record, I work in local government and I wouldn't hesitate to wear whatever lipstick I wanted for an interview, on either side of the table. I know people will hire me for my skills and my attitude, and if my lipstick helps them to remember me as an individual because of how I look then that just helps me to be a real person in their minds, rather than a list of qualifications and experience on a piece of paper :)
  12. Congratulations on the job PowderKeg! And good luck weaning them onto your usual look!
  13. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    A lot of interviewers--probably most of them--don't know how to size someone up or test their qualifications. The less they know about this, the more they'll rely on things like appearance and interviewing skills. I'm thinking of a young woman who applied where I work a few years ago. She impressed one of the partners with her professional appearance, resume and manner. Then I interviewed her and tested her abilities to perform some of the tasks of the job. She absolutely couldn't spell or transcribe. It was an epic fail.

    So if someone were interviewing with me, red lipstick--even black lipstick--wouldn't matter as long as a qualified person was wearing it. If the interview was done by almost anyone else in the office, though, it might make a difference.
  14. I would say its a matter of how it fits you... Some women look marvelously classy in red lipstick and it looks Very Professional. Some women shouldn't wear red even at night because it looks so cheap on them...

    As the VP of a Commercial Real Estate Firm, I do alot of hiring, interviewing etc... I certainly do not look for suits like I would have 10-15 years ago. An honest, clean and well maintained appearance is more valuable that grey or black business attire. Second, I look for honesty in responses, and not book fed questions.... At the end of the day, I may write your check, but I am also a human being and that is the Best Respect you can give to an Interviewer....
  15. Miss DeWitt

    Miss DeWitt New in Town

    I agree with the lip stain idea. I too enjoy wearing red lipstick, but for interviews or other professional settings I like to tone it down by applying lightly and then blotting to create a stain look. A hint of red gives the same impression without looking overpowering.

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