I Wore A Fake Engagement Ring To A Job Interview
I’m going to wear it. No, I’m not. I can get the job on my own. I don’t need any props. I’m smart. I’m qualified. I’m not going to wear it. I’m going to wear it.
This is just a short sample of the internal conflict I struggled with on the morning of a big job interview. I had been out of work for a while and was slightly desperate for a decent salary, which is why I wore a fake engagement ring to a job interview.
The Great Recession hit me pretty hard. For years I toggled between unemployment, underemployment, and full-time professional jobs that only lasted for about a year before those companies ran out of money and fell victim to the recession as well.
And in between there were the job interviews — dozens of them. Professional jobs, part-time jobs, receptionist jobs, temp jobs, you name it, I interviewed for it. Yet a full-time position with a decent salary continued to elude me.
Then a disturbing interview trend began to emerge. After reviewing my resumé and noticing that I’ve written several articles for a dating website, I was asked point blank by potential employers whether I was married. One interviewer had the good sense to catch himself in the midst of his inappropriate question and implored me not to answer. But another, undeterred by the potential threat of a lawsuit, just sat there and waited for a response. I told her that I wasn’t married, and she seemed a little disappointed.
They didn’t just bring up my marital status. “And, of course, you have a family?” a hiring manager slid into one interview. Wait. What? Was that really a question or more of a statement? And what did that have to do with my job qualifications? I told her that I indeed had a family — two parents and one sister. (I’ll admit that the thinly veiled shade that I threw in her direction just before I uttered my response probably contributed to my not getting the job.)
It turns out that interviewers are more likely to hire people with whom they can see themselves becoming friends. And people who are friends tend to be of the same race, gender, and yes, marital status. Granted, I’ve been interviewed by people of every make and model, but the fact that this marriage question kept popping up led me to…