Years later, I met a guy who bore a striking resemblance to Ethan, and I disliked him immediately.
He did nothing wrong, and I didn’t understand why I felt that way back then. But now, it’s probably as obvious to you as it is to me that his only “crime” was that he looked like Ethan.
I had judged him unfairly, based on a purely superficial resemblance to a long-forgotten nemesis.
Fortunately, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and it turned out he was actually a great guy. Eventually, we even became good friends.
Why am I sharing this with you today?
Because it illustrates a valuable lesson about job searches and interviews.
The lesson is this:
Discrimination happens only when a hiring manager or interviewer doesn’t know you.
Because when you first meet, they can only judge you based on superficial characteristics. So there’s always a risk that you’ll remind them of that special person from their past who they’d rather forget.
But when they already know, like, and trust you, that’s no longer an issue. Instead of automatically judging you based on some superficial resemblance to another person, he or she can judge you fairly as an individual.
So if you're struggling to land or ace interviews right now and you suspect that discrimination could be a factor, perhaps it’s time to use the strategy we discussed yesterday:
Get introduced to, and then get to know hiring managers, BEFORE you go through the formal hiring process.
This is the “side” or “backdoor” method of finding job opportunities. When you take that approach, then the hiring process is just a formality, and discrimination is far less likely.