Some of the strangest job interview advice I’ve ever heard was about hair.
This is yonks ago now, but a graphic designer came along to talk down to us about employability. One of the stories he told was about the interview process where he worked. They were looking for a junior designer, and went through the usual perusing of portfolios, chats and pleasantries. So far, so dull.
I was expecting some kind of inspiring schtick about having something really eye-catching in your folio. And by ‘eye-catching’, I suppose I was hoping for a story about the pointy end of a pop-up decoupage project taking the interviewer’s eye out. I waited for the motivating tale of someone’s really damn good idea… and then came the kick in the ass.
Ultimately, they hired someone with pink hair. Because she was the only person they remembered. For her hair. She might have been a good designer, but piling a mop of candyfloss on her head clinched it.
Now, in all honesty that story was about as encouraging as finding five spider legs in a half-eaten bowl of Weetabix. You sort of know what the deal is with that, but admitting it would make you throw up.
What we took away from that talk was to stand out, but not for, y’know, actually being any good at what you do. And a great way to do that is with a bitching hairstyle. The guy’s other suggestion was to wear a jumper with something equally blinding or provocative on it. Like, ‘Give Me The Sodding Job, You Fuckwit’ or similar.
The odd thing is, that story has stuck with me for years. Why? Yes folks, it’s because that girl had memorable pink hair. God damn it.
I do think people should make an effort for a job interview, lovely hair included. Sadly, presentation does get judged. We form our opinions about each other all too quickly. But if your hairdo is the only thing that stands out about you, maybe you need to rethink your approach.