My beauty regime is the key to securing my dream job. Yes, that is really the advice being doled out in a UK survey  of hiring manager.

From split ends to chipped nails to (huh?) no mascara, here is a list of the most-hated beauty blunders and what they mean to hiring manager.

  • Chipped nails, 24 per cent (nervous/unprepared)
  • Split ends, 19 per cent (lazy)
  • Smudged mascara, 17 per cent (party animal)
  • Fake tan, 13 per cent (loves a holiday)
  • Bright red lipstick, 7 per cent (power crazy)
  • Heavily pencilled brows, 5 per cent (too confident, cocky)
  • Overpowering perfume, 4 per cent (attention seeker)
  • Lipstick on teeth, 3 per cent (careless)
  • No mascara, 3 per cent (emotional wreck)
  • Line of foundation, 2 per cent (lack of attention to detail)
  • Drawn-on beauty spot, 2 per cent (untruthful)
  • 100 per cent immaculate, 1 per cent (gunning for boss’s job)

So before we begin our eye-rolling let me just say that there is, without a doubt, some merit to looking professional and polished for a job interview. Yes, if your nails are chipped that is particularly noticeable. But it’s not going to make-or-break your chances. And some of these are just plain bizarre.

Evidence has actually found (overwhelmingly so) that the worst thing you can do to hurt your chances of getting a job is to be unprepared. (Shocking, huh?). We discussed this in a recent Workopolis article. 40 percent of candidates are so consumed by making a good first impression that they spend all their time on their appearance, and none on actual preparation. Only about a quarter of respondents spent any time reviewing interview questions and researching job interview advice.

The reality is, nobody notices the micro-details of your appearance as much as you do. And everybody has different opinions of what looks good.  I think 6-inch platform pumps look super skanky (Yes, even with a suit, and even if they are designer). But I regularly see successful women wearing them at work. It comes down to personal taste. This survey mentions fake tan as a big beauty no-no, whereas I’m personally a fan of a bronzed complexion.

Women in particular can be fussy with their appearance before a job interview. So, here are three pieces of advice from someone who (admittedly) has done the same:

1) Interviews are all about confidence. If you feel better about yourself with a manicure or a bang trim, then go get one.

2) Spend more time researching the company and preparing for the interview. Seriously. Spend more time than you think you need. Spend less time thinking about your eyebrows.

3) Wear mascara. Nobody likes an emotional wreck.

*Source: Interview beauty blunders – survey reveals the real reason you’re not getting that job