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Would you give this woman a job?

Louisa Compton | 09:12 AM, Thursday, 25 June 2009

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Watch the video to see what happened when we took Rebecca Knowles-Dixon, who's 24, to a recruitment consultant to see how much her appearance could affect her chances of getting a job. And if you click on this link you can see a break-down on the advice she was given.

Plus, we'll hear from the mother of a twelve-year-old boy who blames her son's anti-social behaviour on a condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder - which means he does the opposite of what he's told.


You can hear Victoria's interview with Nadine, whose twelve-year-old son has ODD here:


  • 1. At 09:40am on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    No, I wouldn't give her a job.

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  • 2. At 09:42am on 25 Jun 2009, zelda wrote:

    She looks fine to me. She's clean and articulate. Which is a flipping site more than as lot of people I come across are.

    My son suffered from the disorder that you mention - it was however called being a kid. Most children will suffer from it at one time or another.

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  • 3. At 09:43am on 25 Jun 2009, Sarnia wrote:

    Nor would I; not in a public environment anyway.

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  • 4. At 09:49am on 25 Jun 2009, Dizzfunctional wrote:

    I have 3 tattoos and also 2 piercings in my left ear..

    I have to say it doesn't affect my chances of a job becuase my tattoos are in places that are not on show to the public and my piercings are covered by my hair.

    I think Rebecca needs to realise that first impressions count and no matter what your opinions or dress sense outside work, you have a responsibilty to your work to dress in an appropriate smart manner.

    Rebecca looks like a student and not like a proffessional.

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  • 5. At 09:52am on 25 Jun 2009, HalfanAcre wrote:

    I would give her a job because she is clean, articulate and clearly intelligent.

    I would not give her a job where she had to be a public face for the company unless that business was in design or some other creative area.

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  • 6. At 09:53am on 25 Jun 2009, gregmacoy wrote:

    She seems nice, clean, intelligent and articulate, so why not?

    One of the worst things I ever did was, at the age of 27, had a shave and dressed smart for an interview.

    The interviewer kept referring to me as 'young Greg', and had no respect for me. I didn't feel as comfortable or confident going in - I ended up feeling like a kid.

    I think it's key that we consider the applicant's skills and experience - just because someone looks smarter doesn't mean they are.

    That said, I can appreciate the mindset of having 'work clothes', but again, it depends on the job

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  • 7. At 09:59am on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    It depends on the organisation and whether or not she would be customer facing. In business, the customer and their perception of the business would always come first. They drive the standards. So in general (and acknowledging the right for a measure of individual expression within the office), the employees 'right' to dress or present themselves as they would please, does not sit above that of the business.

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  • 8. At 10:16am on 25 Jun 2009, jimmy-dean-2009 wrote:

    pathetic who cares what this girl looks like and what her individuality is as long as she can do the job its good enough for me i judge folk on there merits to do the job on a level playing field in order to find the best qualified and experianced candidate i could not care less if its a gothic person a muslim girl with a headscarf or burqua a disabled person or any other person from any racial background or persuasion the best person on merit will get the job i do not and have not bought in to the nonsense about so called image of the company and what the media brainwash us with on a daily basis

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  • 9. At 10:24am on 25 Jun 2009, akamarty64 wrote:

    Yes i would give her a job it's only her clothes and hair that make her any different to the consultant! she's just part of a tribe as are those who wear suits every day or the blue shirt and chino tribe.

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  • 10. At 10:45am on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    Jimmy... you're missing the point. If she is customer facing and presents a negative image of the business (that she is representing).....then she is NOT doing her job properly.

    Judging a person or product or service on first impressions is as old as the hills. It is wired into our being human so trying to deny that is a nonsense.

    Life is about compromise and this young lady has to learn order to get on.

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  • 11. At 10:51am on 25 Jun 2009, bernydoll wrote:

    I would employ her if she had the right experience for the position. How people look doesn't affect me, the type of person they are does.

    Bernadette in Glasgow

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  • 12. At 11:08am on 25 Jun 2009, tim_87 wrote:

    Whether I gave her job would be based on her impression and experience, and after that whether the look might be detrimental to the face of the company if it deals with a certain demographic within the public that might look down at that kind of style. However, one must indeed make a compromise and wearing the best possible clothes and doing your best to accommodate your style into formal attire is however very important (covering up tattoos, etc). If even after that, in a non-customer facing environment, the employer has a problem out of personal taste, then it's probably in her own interest not to work there anyway. One should ideally work somewhere where professionalism is expected of you but where your employer respects the fact that outside of work, some people have different aesthetic values. Fortunately for her she'd just not get the job as opposed to say, shaving all her hair off.

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  • 13. At 11:10am on 25 Jun 2009, Mike1268 wrote:

    I run a Recruitment Agency in Gloucestershire (GB Solutions). The advice we give is to dress one level up. See what people normally wear at the company you are going to and use that as your base line. Then dress one level smarter.

    If the job is in an office, wear a suit or office dress.

    If in a factory, wear a clean shirt, trousers and shoes (no trainers) but maybe dispense with the tie.

    This generally "one level up rule" applies across all cultures

    Mike Goode

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  • 14. At 11:40am on 25 Jun 2009, jimmy-dean-2009 wrote:

    bigbad_don disagree pal the biggest failure in this country is customer service skills i see plenty of people given jobs based on what they look like and how it fits in with the so called image of the company but when it comes to them doing the job they dont have a clue and the training these indiviuals recieve on product knowledge is shocking now i do not care what they look like i want somebody who can do the job and is the best person for the job i dont want robots working for me i trust my staff to give the consumer what they want and leave them satisfied nowing they will come back again not manufactured idiots who cant think for themselves

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  • 15. At 11:47am on 25 Jun 2009, doz090 wrote:

    Hi Victoria

    Just thought I'd add my experience to this debate...

    Personally I think people should make a bit of an effort for an interview but having said that, I am sitting at my desk in an office in the city and I'm wearing beige trousers an a Manchester United shirt, so what would I know???


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  • 16. At 11:48am on 25 Jun 2009, kingerrant wrote:

    Some of the dress rules are silly - should we have them?

    Rebecca is very pretty (personally I like her style / body image) but she does dress very poorly, I dont think she is doing herself justice. Not so much in terms of being "stylish" or "modern" or whatever - just because the clothes she had on (there) are horrid! :P

    I'd give her a job. If it were in "front of house" part of the job would be to dress in a way we asked - if that didnt suit her then Im guessing she probably wont take the job. :)

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  • 17. At 11:51am on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    Darren....wearing a Man Yoo top? Sir you are a disgrace. Have you no personal standards of deceny at all man???

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  • 18. At 11:52am on 25 Jun 2009, Herbert_Dinkleberry wrote:

    It's an interesting subject. As if you send this woman to McDonald's, she'd be over-dressed.

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  • 19. At 11:55am on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    jimmy #14. Then we are talking about something entirely different, training, which is completely unconnected to standards of dress (I agree with you we shouldn't be robots and I am not at all advocating that).

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  • 20. At 12:22pm on 25 Jun 2009, Herbert_Dinkleberry wrote:

    Naked Parliament... how about that?

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  • 21. At 12:29pm on 25 Jun 2009, trishf42 wrote:

    I'm interested to note that nowhere did anyone mention the important part - what are her skills and talents? I would certainly employ Rebecca, *if* she were the best qualified applicant for the job.

    I'm fortunate to be in an industry where looks (and other superficial things) are much less important than the talents and abilities of the applicant.

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  • 22. At 12:30pm on 25 Jun 2009, Tigersprout wrote:

    I'd have no problem employing her. As many others have pointed out she appears to be intelligent and articulate which is more than so many people I come into contact with.

    Good on her for being an individual.

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  • 23. At 12:36pm on 25 Jun 2009, bigbad_don Est1886 wrote:

    Tigersprout #22

    Don't kid yourself. Everyone is an 'individual', she is no different. I have a sneaking suspiscion that if I were to nip over to Glastonbury this weekend, I'd be falling over hundreds upon hundreds of Rebecca's....rolling about in the mud!! She is following a movement just like your chav, hoodie, goths, hip hoppers, emo's, etc etc.

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