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Where Does Religion Fit Into the Interview Process?

Where Does Religion Fit Into the Interview Process?
From Recruiter - July 29, 2016

A reader contacted me today with an important question for consideration: When is it appropriate to wear clothing, jewelry, or other items associated with yourreligion to an interview or to work? This reader was concerned aboutbeing judged in the office for her religious affiliation.

This is a very tricky and personal question, and its a very individual choice.

I often think of a job interview much like a dinner party. At a dinner party, you meet many new people who may have different viewpoints fromyour own. Conversations tend to be high level and centered on pleasant topics, such as the weather. Etiquette experts say that the potentially taboo topics to avoid include politics, religion, and money. This holds true forinterviews as well.

Unfortunately, when it comes to getting hired, studies show that managers arent free of biases. Those biases can influence who lands the job offer. Details as minor as hair and makeup can influence the interviewers impression of a candidate. Even a candidates height can make a difference.

Religion, however, is more personal and much more important than hair, makeup, or height. It can be a large part of ones identity. In todays climate, sharing your religious viewpoints with others can cause them to judge you, either positively or negatively. When they judge you negatively, it can potentially hurt your chances of getting hired.

A great organization to share your religious views with is one whose perspective aligns well with yours. For example, some private universities, nonprofits, and corporations are founded on specific religious beliefs.

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