Top 5 Best Nail Polish Colors for Interviews - Neutral Nude, Light Pink, Sheer White, Power Red, Clear Coat
Throughout law school, I’ve experienced quite a few job interviews and informational interview meetings. In fact, I am excited because this whole week I am preparing for several interviews (fingers crossed!). Between doing research, practicing responses, and identifying the “one and only greatest weakness,” I have to pay attention at how I present myself. While interviews are somewhat stressful, I always feel more confident when I know I’m not guilty of any style faux-pas. Prospective employers do pay attention to every little detail and expect a candidate with an impeccable presentation and excellent skills. Just as an anecdote, one of my supervisors was definitely not impressed when an interviewee showed up sporting green nail polish and when another was wearing acrylic purple nails.
UPDATE: This post has been one of our most popular and has received a lot of comments and feedback. Since I wrote this post in 2013, I have graduated law school, passed the bar exam, and am now working full time as an attorney (where I am now involved in hiring interviews). My advice in this post remains unchanged - for interviews, candidates must present themselves in a certain manner and that includes what nail polish you wear (when you are especially interviewing for a formal position in a conservative environment, steer clear of nail polish faux pas). Read the comments for more information and discussion and feel free to contact me!
Interview Nail Polish - Advice Do’s and Don’ts
Do wear clean cut nails and don’t have a distracting nail shape or overly long nails (pointy talons look better in editorials anyway).
Do try different colors to see what best suits your skin tone.
Don’t pick bright colors that distract from your actual interview and your responses - nails should look put together without saying “look, I did my nails!”
Don’t wear an accent nail or nail art of any kind.
Do pick a sheer nail polish where you can built opacity with no streaks - sheers also help with application because you can never make a mistake (the polishes in this post are easy to apply for anyone and will look neat).
Do choose a nail polish that is of high quality and will not chip (we know how crazy interview time can get) - also, don’t go to an interview with chipped nail polish.
Do wear a classic statement red color that is not too bright, too dark, or too orange (has to be just right!). You may want to save this color for an informational interview - if in doubt, opt for neutral or lighter polish.
Do pick the most neutral and natural shade if you have any doubt on what color to choose.
Don’t wear textured nail polish or nail polish with a glitter or pearl finish (trends are best displayed outside the interview room).
Do wear a long lasting clear top coat if you are not comfortable wearing a nail polish color - the top coat will make your nails look shiny and clean (and put together).
Do be confident during your interview! Good luck!
Just like every font and line arrangement on a resume, paying attention to small details can help you look more presentable or just make you feel more relaxed. Let me know you if have any questions on preparing for interviews or any additional advice (I’ll add it to the post or the interview suit post)!