We proceed with the interview. I ask about the nose ring. I couldn’t help myself, mostly because I could see a part of it sticking out of her inner nose. It looks out of place, even for a nose ring.
She enlightens me that it’s the hook. ‘I see’, I acknowledge. She asks if I don’t like it. I respond that I am open. She tells me she’s always liked it. I respond smiling. I allow her adjust her blouse, it seems like the buttons released themselves. She gets a grip of things after a few attempts.
We continue the interview.
I ask about the obvious gap between her work experience and her service year. She tells me she had issues with a lecturer currently being investigated for harrassing female students.
I can see from her CV she’s been working jobs all through her university days. We talk about her work experience. She answers my questions one after the other. She communicates well. She is direct. She is pleasant and all her responses make sense.
We speak about the role she applied for. Her experience is relevant and she’s optimistic she will add much value. I am too.
We conclude the interview.
I make her an offer. She seems glad.
Just as she’s about to leave, I notice the blue jeans she was wearing and the crocs on her feet.
Again, I can’t help myself. I ask curiously, ‘why would you wear crocs to an interview?’ She responds that her shoes were in her bag. ‘
And the jeans? Why did you wear blue jeans,’ I ask.
‘Isn’t it ok, ma’, she enquires?
I realise this is a coaching opportunity.
I let her know an interview is an opportunity to put your best foot forward.
I explain to her that people have their biases. Yes, these days, we promote inclusiveness but many people and organisations aren’t there yet. Not every organisation is open to all forms of expression.
Not every interviewer will be open to people who look or think differently from them.
Till you are sure you are meeting with like minds, you are better off over dressed than underdressed. Dress for your customer, not for yourself.
She appeared to take the feedback in good faith. She smiled and again I shook my head, this time in tiredness.
It had been a long day and I just wanted to eat then sleep.
Something in me tells me she will do a good job. I am actually looking forward to working with her…