• Gisèle Schembri

The Discriminating Interviewers

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

As I mentioned last time in my post Adding a Job to the Mix, I am currently looking for employment. Whilst I do understand that there are many opportunities arising every day, I am being very careful with my applications simply because after working for fifteen years of my life, I can notice red flags in jobs.

One thing I didn’t bargain on was, however, being discriminated against.

I am a ‘What you see is what you get.’ kind of girl and purposely don’t dress up or hide my tattoos for interviews. In fact, I show up for interviews dressed as I would if I were to show up for that same job.

Now one job I applied for had me all excited seeing as I liked the people who interviewed me, the work itself was interesting to me and I even passed the so called ‘practical test’ that I was put through once I was chosen to proceed to a second interview. What the interviewer failed to tell me up to that point was, that although he had already seen the tattoo on my upper arm, he was not ok with it. Or rather, as he explained, whilst he personally was interviewing people to find the person best suited to carry out the job, the directors might be less amused by a tattoo. I explained that the new tattoos I was getting on my lower arms would be impossible to hide in the hot Mediterranean summers that require short or no sleeves.

Long story short, after I was promised a second interview, I got a call from my agent asking whether I had changed my mind about wanting the job. Say what? Turns out that the interviewer lied about me and said I didn’t want to comply with the dress code should I be chosen, instead of giving the correct version that the place apparently had a policy to not let anyone work there with a tattoo on show.

Undeterred, I brushed off the disappointment and proceeded to apply to more employment opportunities. Whereupon I was called to one particular interview that not only had a problem with tattoos and requested I wear winter wear through the hot summer in order to hide them, but she also proceeded to ask me to remove my ‘extra earrings’ as workers in the company were only allowed one pair on their ears. It might be a laughable experience had I not been so indignant at having the interview stopped and myself waved out for the simple reason that I said my piercings close up if I remove my small tidy stud earrings.

So all in all, despite my happy go lucky attitude towards interviews and the fact that I know my worth as an employee, I couldn’t not point out the discrimination that is going on even in this day and age in a supposedly first world country educated to include everyone and employ people according to their merits.


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