Woman’s job interview goes well but still doesn’t get hired because she didn’t wear makeup

SINGAPORE: A woman has gone viral on TikTok after sharing her story about a job application. While the interview went well, she received an email from the company telling her that her application would not proceed.

The video from Ms Melissa Weaver, posted last month, has been viewed almost 800,000 times. In the caption, she asks, “Does wearing makeup to work make a difference?”


Does wearing make up to work make a difference? #work #corporate #career #interview #job #jobsearch #makeup #jobinterview #opinion #advice #women

♬ original sound – Melissa

Ms Weaver said that the response to her application left her confused, and she did something that she’d never done before and emailed the interviewer for feedback.

“She said that while my background is exactly what they were looking for and my experience lined up with what they need for the position, and my own personal goals and values lined up with the company’s she was concerned that for my interview I hadn’t put in enough effort in my appearance given the level of role I was interviewing for.”

She explained that she had gone for a vice presidential position in the company and had done her hair, worn a “nice top” and blazer, and put on earrings but did not put on any makeup, as she does not normally do so.

Ms Weaver ended her video by asking, “So my question is does not wearing makeup for women to job interviews or to jobs make it seem like they aren’t putting in as much effort or care into their job?”

Her post generated a lot of feedback from others, sparking a discussion on how important makeup is in job interviews, why this is the case, and whether this is discriminatory toward women since men are not subjected to the same standards for personal appearance.

Unfortunately, even in this modern age, women who put on makeup tend to earn more money than those who don’t.

Studies have proven the link between attractiveness and salaries, and interestingly (and rather outrageously), one study even showed that women who wear makeup are perceived to be more trustworthy.

What about Singapore?

Singapore is a more conservative country, so a certain amount of makeup is expected in job interviews, although less is more, as the saying goes.

On a mycareersfuture.gov.sg piece called “Dressing for job interview success, a tip is included for female job applicants to ‘Stick to daytime makeup, such as a nude eyeshadow palette’.”

A 2020 piece in AsiaOne, meanwhile, offers this advice from Agnes Koh, the President and Founder of Etiquette & Image International:

“The key is to keep your makeup subtle and looking as natural as possible. If you have too much concealer and foundation that appears cakey or fake, you may not be revealing your true self.

Go for a lasting makeup look that will take you through your anxiety, sweat, and heat in this humid weather.”

A commenter on Ms Weaver’s video said, “It’s not easy to be a woman. Put on no makeup and you’re penalized. But put on too much makeup and people don’t approve either.” /TISG

Read also: Singaporeans spill tea on the ‘most ridiculous expectation of a partner they’ve ever heard’ from “your money = our money” to “wear makeup 24/7”

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