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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Wear Or Not To Wear?


I was just stumped by a question and would like share the issue and know your answer.

A candidate called to ask me a question that I have never been asked before.  She is recently engaged.  Her question: “Should I wear my ring on tomorrow’s interview?”  I was completely stumped.

                                                                              

The first thing I asked her was whether it was large or not.  She said it was large to her, but close to a carat.  That is not huge or ostentatious in any way.  I told her to wear it proudly and not be self conscious.  Everyone, male and female, is used to seeing women wearing their engagement rings.  It would never occur to me that her ring might negatively impact her interview. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this? 

11 comments:

  1. I'm shocked that it's even an issue one way or the other. Men and women get married all the time. (They get divorced too, but you can adress that in another blog)

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  2. @aho: I was surprised, too. I have heard of one situation where an engaged woman had a very large engagement ring - over 3 carats - and the interviewing company told the recruiter that she did not need the job. Of course that is outrageous. But in the case above,it was a very average ring.

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  3. Good one, Paul. Perhaps this question has arisen as a result of your recent Mad Men commentary in which it was made clear that single women had, at one time, a slightly better chance for advancement in the ad biz for reasons other than their sheer raw talent. No ring would have made sense if that were truly the case. Don't believe it ever was. Tell your client to turn off the TV!
    Hysterical!

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  4. I say be proud of who you are... but I can understand the concern. Some potential employers will be so focused on the short term that an engagement ring may signal a potential lack of engagement with the new job, as wedding and honeymoon planning and the inevitable absences loom. Your personal life, including your marital status should not be a decisive factor by law, but in practice these issues can come up in interviews and an engagement ring without a wedding ring might provide the occasion for assumptions or personal questions from the interviewer. If I were to follow my "you are pitching every moment" philosophy, I would say that should you choose to wear the engagement ring, be prepared to preempt concerns and answer objections. From the employer's POV, some people are excellent at engaging full-force with work and with life events, while others aren't. You know what you're pitching!

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  5. I had an interview when I was newly engaged and a friend advised me to not wear my ring. It was not a large ring at all, but she thought they may worry that my plans to get married may get in the way of me working the long hours the job required. I took her advice and didn't wear my ring, I had a great interview and I got the job. On my first day I wore my engagement ring and I was immediately asked if I was engaged at the time I interviewed...I said yes and it was awkward at first, but later it became a joke in our group. Looking back I wish I had worn the ring and given my interviewer more credit. I now believe in full disclosure!!!

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  6. There are many ways an engagement ring might be perceived by a potential employer. Having hired many women throughout my career, it has never been an issue for me. If anything, I would see it as a positive sign of personal stability and happiness. Assuming I noticed the ring in the first place, I might casually inquire as to the timing of wedding plans relative to time off from the job. Starting in any new position initially requires total immersion and commitment for success and any new employer would rightfully expect that. So, if the question is raised, answer truthfully. And if you don't get an offer because of it, "c'est la vie." Bill Crandall

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  7. I find it interesting that most of the people who are saying wear the ring are men...with a few exceptions. Perhaps they haven't felt the subtle but palpable bias of being a woman trying to prove that you work just as hard even though you may be engaged, married, pregnant, etc. I would be interested in more womens' experiences. I will bet they are not so evenly for wearing it. I also found the word "deceptive" in someone's post to be interesting. How could it be deceptive if it should not be factored into the decision? It would be exactly like not disclosing you have a sixth finger on one hand...should be totally irrelevant. That's why it's a protected class under the law.

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  8. @Anonymous: On my personal email, I got a lot of comments from women. Mostly for wearing the ring. But what you say brings up an interesting point: men don't wear engagement rings so there is no basis of comparison. Until this question was asked of me, I had never thought of it one way or another.

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  9. Maggie GumbinnerJuly 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    I wouldn't wear the ring. I was interviewing soon after getting married, and so I had to tell people that my name had recently changed in case they were talking to former coworkers. This was usually followed up by "and you graduated college in xx." Then I could see them doing the math in their head to figure out if I might try to have a baby soon. This happened several times. I wish that people didn't think like this, but the harsh reality is that they do. Of course, those may not have been great places to work, but I certainly didn't want to have my choices limited for me.

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  10. I might caution her not to wear it. "Nervous" interviewers might assume she'll soon be distracted planning her wedding and not concentrating on her work. I know of an instance or two where co-workers (doing the interviewing) expressed such a view.

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  11. My take is that she asked because the interviewer might think sh'll be planning her wedding and not working. Honestly, it's probably safer not to wear it. I don't think most men would notice, but there are definitely some people who would think she can't plan a wedding and devote herself to her job. Ridiculous, but there are people who think that.

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I would welcome your comments, suggestions or anything you would like to share with me or my readers.

 
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