I’ve got an interview at a BIG talent agency coming up and, as you know, I’ve got blue hair. Do you think I should go back to brunette for my internship interview? I want them to see the real me. I know you stress the importance of being authentic, so your advice is really helpful.
Elle Padron (USC Class of 2017)
I remember you well and I LOVE your look. As you recall from class lectures, I have a bias toward people with tattoos, piercings, mohawks, faux hawks, blue/pink/rainbow hair etc…! Although I have none of these things, (nor do I see any of them in my future,) I tend to embrace friends, co-workers, students and potential hires who have an interesting look. Rightly or wrongly, I make positive judgments about people with unique physical expression.
That being said, I am not the norm. I repeat: I AM NOT THE NORM! In many cases, your first meeting at a company will be with an executive in Human Resources. They are paid to make judgments about you for their company and you have no idea how this will be recieved. Don’t give them a visual reason to show you the exit door. Your individual style shouldn’t overpower your skill or personality, so in this case, err on the side of being a little more conservative.
I use Nicki Minaj as an example of this: We all know her raunchy lyrics, provocative attire, and the overall explicit nature of her persona, yet when she’s a guest on a morning talkshow, like “Kelly and Michael,” she adjusts her appearance to the occasion and wears a dress that covers her knees, elbows, and even her boobies. Her personality can come through even more, as we are not distracted by her fantastic, yet overtly sexual appearance — and that is what you should do as well, my grads: Be YOU in the context of a grown up office environment.
If you are interviewing at a studio or talent agency, cover your tats, take out your nose ring, cover your toned abs (keep the crop tops at home), and make sure your hair is closer to the color you were born with. Ladies should wear heels, skirts that are an inch or two above-the knee or at the knee (keep your minis for the weekends) or pants that fit well. No need to start shopping at Ann Taylor just yet, but keeping it young and fresh isn’t just about showing skin. Men should wear a suit and tie. It’s that easy! Have a beautifully pressed button down shirt and make sure your shoes are shined. Get that? No sneakers.
So, my darling, go back to being a beautiful brunette while you are interviewing. Once you’re hired and understand the company culture, you can make adjustments to the above. Keep being YOU!
UPDATE- June 2016– This sweet girl took my advice and she got hired by WME to work as an intern in the Beverly Hills office Fall 2016. #proudteacher