On the subject of gray hair I have many opinions and as you know, dear readers, I am not afraid to air them.
Should a person looking for a job feel obligated to dye their hair in order to project a more youthful appearance?
I took this question to a number of individuals who run their own companies and here’s what they all said:
“Yes?,” I said, looking a bit bemused.
“Yes, a person must dye their hair because gray=old and old=sick days and sick days=time lost.”
Let me go out on a limb here. I do not believe gray=old. I think there’s a lot more to nailing an interview than buying a box of wash-in hair color from the drugstore to project youth and vitality.
So how do you trump the gray and convince someone there’s more to you than your follicles?
#1: Give them something that erases any doubt about your energy and enthusiasm for work: A bounce in your walk, firm handshake, a warm and genuine smile, and a sense of confidence that you’re the whole exciting package — professional acumen plus the emotional intelligence to lead.
#2. Your presentation style must be impeccable. Everything must be in sync: For men, fresh hair, nails, shirt, pants and “work shoes” — oxfords and loafers — and not boating or too cool for school shoes. Oh, and that Thurston Howell the Third (“Gilligan’s Island”) foulard in lieu of a tie? You’re kidding me, right?
For women, it’s a combination of style and verve. Skirts to the knee, stylish shirt or sweater, a slim pant and jacket, a fabulous pin on the lapel, great haircut and okay, shoot me, short nails with a natural polish. Play it smart, elegant, and oh so sophisticated.
#3. Don’t sound like you forgot to take the Gingko biloba. Prepare for the interview by reading the paper, watching the evening news, and listening to NPR in case the interviewer mentions the possible return of the Greek drachma (^5 if you can finesse that conversation. Who doesn’t love talking about the drachma?) (wink)
#4. Don’t rush to the bottom line. Tell your story with passion. Did I ever tell you I was tapped to fly to Cincinnati to pitch Procter & Gamble with the company president because he knew I was a speed-closer? Who wouldn’t want to hire the corporate Mariano Rivera of big stakes pitches? That’s my story — what’s yours?
#5. Wear a girdle if you don’t do sit-ups. A well-known “actor” (male) wears a girdle in every movie. Ladies, wear two pair of Spanx and take small breaths.
#6. Pull up your socks. Only 20% of men wear socks to the knee. Your competition is smaller than you think.
#7. Pull up your socks, part two: Ladies, make sure your stockings are not bagging around the ankles. ABC News call “cankles” the new muffin top.
#8. Don’t act as if your life depends on getting this job. Even if it does, employers prefer someone hot rather than someone who’s been iced.