Vital things every woman needs to consider when going to a job interview

Other than going to a job interview

In a world where a man with no political experience can run for president but the rest of us need a Masters and 5 years experience for an entry level job, it’s easy to get discouraged. It especially sucks being a woman in the already competitive market, because more often than not it means that there are plenty of additional nonsense ‘little problems we need to consider’.

What’s the appropriate attire? Is this too provocative? Is this not provocative enough? Do I still feel like myself if I wear this? Does it matter? Does anyone actually care? Will I get paid less doing the same job as ‘the guys’ in the office? Do I have to laugh at the interviewer’s jokes even if they’re not funny? Where do I draw the line of shit I’m willing to ‘laugh off’ to get this job?

We might do all the homework about the role, bring all the passion and drive, carefully study the company and its goals but at the end of the day people don’t always hire qualifications- they hire people and you obviously don’t want to piss anyone off during an interview. But at the same time being young and impressionable, freshly graduated and therefore quite often desperate- it’s easy to let the pressure get the best of you and unfortunately more often than not, young women are likely to brush things under the rug in order to get the opportunity thinking they will get a real chance to prove themselves later.

You start to convince yourself that they’re being flattering and it’s coming from a good place- they’re just being nice. Big mistake and a massive red flag- there is absolutely no need for physical appearance related flattery in a job interview or at work. Saying things like “networking must be easy for you” or “back in the day I was quite a looker myself” is just inappropriate and if you think that is a compliment you really are part of the problem.

I’ve experienced it working in male dominated teams numerous times before, trying not thinking much of it because I’m not a douche and I’m not going to judge people I haven’t met. I however, did expect the ‘guy banter’ around the office (wrong. wrong. so wrong.) but as long as it was between themselves I didn’t see why I should care (wrong again.) The way some of the men I’ve worked with talked about their wives and girlfriends was gruesome. There were naked car-wash girl screensavers, inappropriate personal questions and infantilising nicknames like blondie and sugar. 

At one job I was asked point blank to wear makeup. I usually wear a full face or don’t wear any makeup at all and that’s just my personal preference and how I like to roll.  Sometimes you’re in a situation where the precious moments you feel should not be wasted on contouring, that’s normal, that’s called being a human being. But on my first day of not turning up with makeup I now was informed I had to wear it.

The worst thing about it was that I felt I had let someone down, like I did something wrong, I felt guilty. It’s just another extra concern placed on women in the workplace. 

The full shabang of getting ready can take 45 minutes for face alone, add another 30 minutes for the hair and that should directly equal to makeup purchasing allowance and an extra 10k a year if you want me to wear makeup to work as a requirement. Have you tried wearing matte lipstick all day? It’s equivalent to ancient Chinese torture.

Sure, I’ll be the first one to admit that I do like to dress up and wear a sexy outfit for a night out, I love my makeup and the ‘glam’, but what I really don’t love is being stripped of personal choice that has no influence whatsoever towards my ability to do the job I was hired to do.

As long as you’re familiar with a bar of soap and are properly groomed it is absolutely ridiculous to expect a woman to wear makeup as a must – it’s like asking the guys to stuff their pants with socks to ‘enhance their appearance’. It probably should be left open as a choice of preference.

I’ve spoken to plenty of women who have had experiences like mine at my different jobs, and the conclusion is always the same. If you’re at a point in your life where you feel stuck, unhappy and lost let me tell you that there is good news. Jobs come and go. You can always quit.

Just fucking leave. It might seem scary now- jeopardizing your income, jumping into the unknown but I can assure you one hundred percent that being happy and respected is worth every struggle. There are plenty of companies and bosses that are absolutely awesome, you just have to follow your gut and never settle for less than you deserve. 

Mutual respect, that’s all we ask for.