Would You Give This Woman a Job?


Is she high or hired?

This is a story about a job applicant. A true story in fact, with the names changed to honor privacy.

A qualified candidate (we’ll call her ‘Lisa’) applied for a job with The Image Studios. The job was an entry level support role that involved client relations and sales. Lisa’s resume was excellent. She passed the phone screen with flying colors. We invited her in for a live interview – fully expecting that we would make her an offer on the spot. In short, the job was hers to lose.

Lisa arrived early, but not the dreaded too early that makes the interviewers feel like they are running late. She met one-on-one with three members of our team. Each teammate was impressed with her background and resume. But after the in-person interviews, each interviewer was not so sure about extending Lisa a job offer. Here’s why.

Interviewer #1 thought Lisa seemed distracted and unexpressive during the interview. “She fidgeted in her chair – couldn’t keep still. She kept a neutral face the entire interview. She answered my questions quickly and succinctly – but there was no feeling, no filler. I cracked a joke, and she seemed afraid to laugh. Perhaps she doesn’t have a sense of humor – that’s not a fit for this team.”

Interviewer #2 was distracted by Lisa’s appearance. “Why was her hair so, so blonde, with so many dark roots? Why did she look so young, perhaps because she didn’t have on any makeup? Regardless, I think that having her at the front desk could undermine our credibility with prospective clients. She looks like a kid that colored her hair without permission.”

Interviewer #3 decided that Lisa was brilliant – and high! “Did either of you smell weed? I smelled weed. Do you think she gets high? She’s really smart, but no way can she be in front of clients.”

What do you think – should we offer her the job? Remember, she’s qualified and smart! Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to find out how we resolved this hiring decision.


About Kali Patrice

Kali Patrice is the founder of The Image Studios, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in branding and image communication. She blogs through “Successful Expression” to share fresh ways to share insights about image, personal branding and self-expression.