Q: I landed an interview for my dream job and am not sure if I should wear my usual red manicure during the process. What do you recommend?
A: Congratulations on your interview! By now you’ve likely thought of everything when pulling together your business interview look – the perfectly tailored suit (pantsuits are absolutely acceptable), understated makeup and hair, classic shoes, minimal accessories and a sleek bag. Your manicure is scheduled but what color should you choose?
Here are my do’s and don’ts when it comes to office nail etiquette:
Do keep nails short and clean. If you take nothing else away from office nail etiquette, remember this tip! Nothing is more distracting than a little smidge of makeup or breakfast bar under your perfectly polished nails.
Do keep the polish neutral. Think soft pinks, not bold reds. You want the attention to be on you, not your bright and shiny nails.
Do tuck away an extra bottle of polish for an emergency touch-up. I’m not suggesting you touch up your nails while waiting in the lobby, but if you discover a chip, you can easily cover the damage in a matter of seconds. When you check your teeth in the rear view mirror, do a quick nail check in the car before entering the building. In reality, if the color is buff, it won’t even show.
Do avoid embellishments. Whatever you do, absolutely skip the rhinestones, stick on flowers or reverse French manicure with hot pink tips.
Don’t fall prey to sporting the latest nail trend to the office. Save the purple, yellow and/or leopard spots for the weekend (or avoid altogether!).
Don’t pick at your nails. During your interview, avoid the nervous gesture of picking at your nails. Make it a point to keep your hands above the desk, rather than in your lap.
Don’t tap, tap, tap your nails. Another annoying behavior that will not go unnoticed.
Don’t overlook your toes! If you plan to wear the perfect peep-toe pumps, don’t forget to sport a fresh manicure. Remember, unless you’re interviewing at a hip ad agency, it’s probably best to save the peep toe footwear for another day.
Bonus tip for my male readers…
Your nails matter in the office, too! Remember to keep nails neatly trimmed and clean. If your cuticles are an eyesore or your hands are otherwise neglected, don’t hesitate to get a manicure (polish-free). Your hands will thank you!
Best of luck on your interview,