Over 4 million people are married in the United States and many more get married every year.
Jewelers are in the right biz—that is a lot of wedding rings!
Wedding rings are part of a tradition that dates back many centuries and is an essential part of the American culture. Even prison inmates are permitted to wear wedding rings, because of their commonplace and significance.
It may be hard to believe that a wedding ring could ruin a job interview, but mine did—several times.
Let me start by describing my ring. It is simple—something that would never catch the eye or curiosity of the common observer. It is a single solitaire on a plain band, sitting next to another simple band with a string of small diamonds.
Just like all of the millions, if not billions, of married people on this planet, my ring symbolizes my commitment, loyalty and support to my spouse, my partner in life.
I will, on very rare occasions, remove my ring if I am working with my hands or traveling to high-crime areas. Otherwise, my ring is permanently affixed below my knuckle. Removing it from my finger for any other reason feels like I am trying to hide a huge part of my life.
Even though it pains me, I have learned to leave my wedding ring at home for job interviews.
Let me paint a picture of the typical scene that I experienced more times than one hand can count…
My spouse just notified me that he received military orders to transfer to a new base. I immediately check the job boards for opportunities in that area. I identify my target companies, start submitting applications and activate my professional network.
As soon as I arrive, I start attending local functions and meet people in my target companies. Soon enough, I start getting calls for interviews—they are interested!
Everything seems to be going my way and then… I see them glance down at my wedding ring. The conversation goes something like this…
Illegal or not, the interviewers were probing for information.
They were trying to decide if I was a worthwhile investment.
I understood why they were asking these questions, but it made me want to scream because I was a good fit for their company and they were on track to throw it away as a result of short-sighted concerns.
This is is about the time that I felt my body sink deep into the chair and then realized that my mouth was hanging open.
Just in those few short moments, the person sitting across from me had usually already made up their mind because they quickly wrapped up the interview by saying…
After leaving the interview, I usually receive a letter …
Thankfully, times have changed.
There are now many employers who recognize the benefits of military spouses and will not make such fast judgments. However, not all employers are up to speed.
Even though I am married to someone in the military, my past employers will attest that I give a great return on their investment in me.
A simple wedding ring can open the door to loaded questions that make everyone lose out—the candidate and the employer.
So, I continue to leave my wedding ring off for interviews, because it gives employers that are not so smart one less thing to use in the line of questioning that leads to the interview ending early.