Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:25 am

Let me elaborate: Do firms actively look for a certain level of attractiveness, or is it more of a subtle factor in how they view candidates?

I have a female friend who is a 2L and paranoid that her appearance is going to be held against her (she's ~4'10'', ~180lbs.). Of course, I ensure her that it won't (and, if it isn't obvious to her, I really don't feel comfortable telling her to shed some poundage). She is a good student -top 25% at a t50 school- but she wants to work either at a big firm, or as a prosecutor; two areas where I would imagine appearance to be a big deal.

What do we think?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:47 am

The big problem for her right now in terms of big law hiring is her grades, not her appearance. Top 25% at a T50 is unlikely to cut it. I am not sure about prosecutorial hiring.

I wish it weren't this way, but appearance does affect the hiring process. If your grades are good enough, your appearance (and your personality) are going to matter a lot less. If you are borderline, being unattractive is just another check against you. Some interviewers (usually men but not always) will consciously discriminate against an unattractive female. But even people who don't do it consciously still form first impressions about people. It is quite a quandary for women because at the same time being too attractive can be held against them, too.

The good news is that you can tell her what she needs to work on for big law are her grades. Top 25% after the first semester does not put her out of the running but she better improve this semester if she wants a chance. The best thing would probably be to improve her grades and lose weight, but she probably isn't going to drop almost 100 pounds by OCI anyway.

thederangedwang
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:03 am

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Last edited by thederangedwang on Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:12 am

I've seen plenty of people, including women, who are pretty overweight get jobs so I don't think that her weight will be that significant of a factor. It seems like, for getting jobs, it's more important to look neat overall (e.g. a suit that fits, neat hair, appropriate make up, etc.) and to have sufficiently high grades. That being said, losing weight could be helpful because it would probably make her appearance look neater overall and also boost her confidence during interviews. If your friend is anxious about her appearance, you might want to encourage her to get rid of that anxiety by working it out at the gym.

rad lulz
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:23 am

somewhatwayward wrote:The big problem for her right now in terms of big law hiring is her grades, not her appearance. Top 25% at a T50 is unlikely to cut it. I am not sure about prosecutorial hiring.

I wish it weren't this way, but appearance does affect the hiring process. If your grades are good enough, your appearance (and your personality) are going to matter a lot less. If you are borderline, being unattractive is just another check against you. Some interviewers (usually men but not always) will consciously discriminate against an unattractive female. But even people who don't do it consciously still form first impressions about people. It is quite a quandary for women because at the same time being too attractive can be held against them, too.

The good news is that you can tell her what she needs to work on for big law are her grades. Top 25% after the first semester does not put her out of the running but she better improve this semester if she wants a chance. The best thing would probably be to improve her grades and lose weight, but she probably isn't going to drop almost 100 pounds by OCI anyway.

Chick is a 2L bro.

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ChikaBoom
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby ChikaBoom » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:28 am

I agree with the above posters. She is not necessarily going to lose out on an opportunity because she is overweight, but her grades will determine whether or not there is even an opportunity in the first place.

The best advice to her would be to focus on grades and when the interview(s) come, ensure that her suits are properly tailored, her appearance neat, and her interview skills are on point. She will want to start shopping for her interview suits well in advance, as I imagine it will be hard for her to find something (height wise moreso than weight wise, but still).

Perhaps direct her to one of the interview threads to prepare? You can always delete the OP so that she doesn't happen across it.

redline380
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby redline380 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:32 pm

i'll try to say this as nicely as possible, but "large" girls can still be "attractive", at least in the face. if she has acne scares with nappy hair and smells like a dood ranch, she probably won't be hired simply because of outward appearences and possible interaction with clients. excuse the pictures, but i feel visualisation will help this situation. im not trying to be mean, but as most people on here probably know, beauty is often acknowledged in women (and men) with relative symmetry in their faces. the first photo lacks, the second could be considered an "attractive" larger woman.

this= not happening
--ImageRemoved--



this=much more likely
--ImageRemoved--

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bruinfan10
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby bruinfan10 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:42 pm

this thread really took a turn.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Well, not exactly pic 1, but she is not attractive. She carries a lot of that weight on her face, has a boyish hairstyle, and is built like a bowling ball.

As far as grades go, she is right on the edge of getting into the top 10%, and I think she'll get there. She's not looking for Skadden Arps, or anything like that.

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dingbat
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:21 pm

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:Well, not exactly pic 1, but she is not attractive. She carries a lot of that weight on her face, has a boyish hairstyle, and is built like a bowling ball.

As far as grades go, she is right on the edge of getting into the top 10%, and I think she'll get there. She's not looking for Skadden Arps, or anything like that.

honestly, no one wants to hire an ugmug. Grades and personality can make up for it, but being hideous is a disadvantage (there have been studies done that correlate beauty with success)

redline380
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby redline380 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:30 pm

well at the end of the day, tell her to apply. the worst they will say is "no", and that happens to relatively attractive people all the time. maybe try to help her understand that rejection happens to everyone, just not unnattractive people. simply put, if she conducts herself well, shows that she has something to offer that goes above and beyond good looks, and stands out greater than all other applicants, she will get the position. another piece of advice is maybe try to help get her in shape. being overweight (in this case borderline [who are whe kidding] obese), is very unhealthy. maybe offer to help her shape up? (pun intended) again, not trying to be a jerk, just being honest.

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jkpolk
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby jkpolk » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:32 pm

redline380 wrote:i'll try to say this as nicely as possible, but "large" girls can still be "attractive", at least in the face. if she has acne scares with nappy hair and smells like a dood ranch, she probably won't be hired simply because of outward appearences and possible interaction with clients. excuse the pictures, but i feel visualisation will help this situation. im not trying to be mean, but as most people on here probably know, beauty is often acknowledged in women (and men) with relative symmetry in their faces. the first photo lacks, the second could be considered an "attractive" larger woman.

this= not happening
--ImageRemoved--



this=much more likely
--ImageRemoved--


OH LOL

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englawyer
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby englawyer » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:50 pm

best thing you can do for her is to say it matters. could help provide some motivation to take off some of that weight. for someone her height, anything over 150 is obese (http://www.freebmicalculator.net/bmi-chart.php)

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LeDique
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby LeDique » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:55 pm

I had a couple firms take some photos during callbacks in order to make sure I'd look good on the website. I think this is why I struck out at OCI.

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:24 pm

dingbat wrote:
RhymesLikeDimes wrote:Well, not exactly pic 1, but she is not attractive. She carries a lot of that weight on her face, has a boyish hairstyle, and is built like a bowling ball.

As far as grades go, she is right on the edge of getting into the top 10%, and I think she'll get there. She's not looking for Skadden Arps, or anything like that.

honestly, no one wants to hire an ugmug. Grades and personality can make up for it, but being hideous is a disadvantage (there have been studies done that correlate beauty with success)


Ugmug=my new favorite word

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Icculus
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby Icculus » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:36 pm

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:built like a bowling ball.


This is one of the best descriptions I have ever read.

Kind of like this?

--ImageRemoved--

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BullShitWithBravado
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:41 pm

Icculus wrote:
RhymesLikeDimes wrote:built like a bowling ball.


This is one of the best descriptions I have ever read.

Kind of like this?

--ImageRemoved--


The most terrified-looking bowling ball I've ever seen.

Anonymous User
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:44 pm

I realize this doesn't matter and I'm not trying to offend your friend at all, but for the sake of curiosity, any reason why she's not trying to lose the weight in the first place? I mean, it's clear she's self conscious about her appearance when she asked you about it so she doesn't seem to be comfortable with where she's at and is somewhat serious about how others will perceive her appearance, at least to the extent that she feels like her future is on the line because of it. Does she has thyroid issues or does she just has weak willpower?

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IAFG
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:56 pm

Icculus wrote:Kind of like this?

ahhhh whhhhyyyy

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:34 pm

.
Last edited by Myself on Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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md22
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby md22 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:06 pm

4'10 and 180 pounds? Dude, she needs to worry more about living until she's 50 more than her chances at getting a job. That is really obese.

de5igual
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby de5igual » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:37 pm

rad lulz wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:The big problem for her right now in terms of big law hiring is her grades, not her appearance. Top 25% at a T50 is unlikely to cut it. I am not sure about prosecutorial hiring.

I wish it weren't this way, but appearance does affect the hiring process. If your grades are good enough, your appearance (and your personality) are going to matter a lot less. If you are borderline, being unattractive is just another check against you. Some interviewers (usually men but not always) will consciously discriminate against an unattractive female. But even people who don't do it consciously still form first impressions about people. It is quite a quandary for women because at the same time being too attractive can be held against them, too.

The good news is that you can tell her what she needs to work on for big law are her grades. Top 25% after the first semester does not put her out of the running but she better improve this semester if she wants a chance. The best thing would probably be to improve her grades and lose weight, but she probably isn't going to drop almost 100 pounds by OCI anyway.

Chick is a 2L bro.


This. The Biglaw ship has sailed, regardless of whether it could accommodate the elephant.

rad lulz
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:51 am

Tell her to drop out of school. We're all fucked.

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dingbat
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:55 am

rad lulz wrote:Tell her to drop out of school. We're all fucked.

Nah, I'd like to be competing for jobs with a heffer from a lesser school

rad lulz
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Re: Does physical appearance play a role in the hiring process?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:00 am

dingbat wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Tell her to drop out of school. We're all fucked.

Nah, I'd like to be competing for jobs with a heffer from a lesser school

You know what they say, more cushion for the penis.




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