September 20, 2011
Interview bling: Yea or nay?
According to the internets, job applicants who wear too big of an engagement rock to an interview may be doing so at their own peril.
[Flickr photo by chris.corwin]
As the latest "what will they discriminate against next?" story goes, some hiring managers and recruiters see a woman with sizable diamond on her finger and write her off as someone who "doesn't need the job," regardless of her skills and experience.
MediaJobsDaily voiced their outrage this way:
"If you're judging applicants based on whether you decide they 'need' the job or not, you're already not doing a very good job at hiring. Because the flip side of the 'this person doesn't need the job' coin is 'this person is completely desperate.' That doesn't make them a good hire."
Agreed. And yet, if I were the big-honking-diamond-wearing type, I'd probably remove my ring for an interview. I certainly don't wear my big honking turquoise choker to interviews. Or my big honking silver hoop earrings. They're too distracting. Unless you're interviewing for a job as a red carpet spokesmodel, you want your skills -- not your accessories -- to dazzle your interviewer.
On the flip side, this frugalista has gone to marginally absurd lengths to avoid looking broke and desperate during interviews. For me, being frugal has meant driving the same banged-up hatchback since 1989 (that is, until last week, when I took the plunge and upgraded to a 2001 model). As a freelancer, I've predominantly worked from home over the years. As a result, I only fill my gas tank once a month and just hit 150,000 miles on my odometer this summer. Keeping the same car safely humming for more than two decades has been a point of pride for me.
When it comes to meeting new clients, however, that pride quickly dissipates. Over the years, I've taken great pains to park my beater out of view from the cafés and coworking spaces where clients have asked to meet me. Call me vain, call me superficial, but I worried my eyesore on wheels would scream, "This woman needs work -- bad!" And I didn't want to come across as desperate for work. Again, why distract the interviewer (or customer) if you don't have to?
Readers, what do you think? Leave the bling at home when interviewing? Park the shoddy car around the block? Or come as you are and let the judgments land where they may?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
- career profile (160)
- cool jobs (65)
- education and training (60)
- entry level (70)
- etiquette (104)
- events (71)
- featured (394)
- finding your passion (94)
- health care (72)
- interviewing (87)
- job fairs (59)
- management (86)
- market trends (91)
- networking (270)
- resumes (100)
- salary (83)
- social media (90)
- technology (112)
- unemployment (55)
- work/life balance (89)