When interviewing for a job, lose the ring!
When something happens once it is meaningless. When it happens twice it is a coincidence. When it happens thrice it’s a conspiracy. Well, we are well past the conspiracy stage.
Years ago I was working for a recruiter. A colleague interviewed a woman. I was not present during the interview. When they left the conference room the woman asked my colleague, “You know, I have had a number of interviews and no offers. Did you find anything wrong with my interviewing skills?” My colleague assured her that she had not.
Even though I had not been introduced to her, and despite the fact that, at that moment, I was alone with five women all of whom were wearing engagement rings, I said, “Lose the rock!”
Everyone looked at me. The woman had the Hope Diamond on her finger. She, and my colleagues, asked for an explanation.
“When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!”
She rather curtly thanked me and left. I did not fare much better with my colleagues.
Two weeks later I got a call from the woman. She asked me to tell my colleague that she had found a job and was no longer interested in our services. I congratulated her but asked why she was telling me and not my colleague who had been working with her. She told me that the only thing she did differently at her last job interview, which resulted in the job offer, was not to wear the ring.
This just happened again only this time with a career counseling client. I think that makes half a dozen.
Not wearing an engagement ring is not lying. Being engaged is not a “protected class” like gender, religion, or even marital status. After all, just because you are engaged does not mean you are actually going to get married. So not telling an employer that you plan to get married, is fine. It is none of her business. It would only be relevant if, let’s say, you needed some time off in the not too distant future.
So lose the rock! And, if you don’t have one, but got engaged by signing a pre-nup, find a way to let male interviewers know that. They’ll respect you. (Women may as well, but I’m not certain that this is the case.)
In response to some legitimate criticisms/questions, I have written a follow-up article, “What Jewelry Not to Wear to a Job Interview.”
Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador. Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.
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