Should you wear a kippah to your job interview? Well, yes. In the year 2015, except in some places in the world (most of which don’t speak English), if you're a person who wears a kippah, you shouldn't NOT wear it if you're going to a job interview. I mean, who would do that?
When I saw a book called Can I Wear My Kippah on Job Interviews?: Career Guidance for Sabbath Observant Jewish Professionals from two authors who have built a business creating business- and employment-consulting books, it caught my attention right away (which I think is the point of the title). I eagerly requested a review copy, and the author, Lavie Margolin sent one along.
First of all, the book isn’t really about wearing a kippah or not.
I quickly came to the conclusion that the cover question is mainly an attention-getting trick. The Margolins never advise removing your kippah for a job interview – perhaps because they know that that would alienate too many readers.
(At one point, the book even mentions wearing a kippah or headcovering specifically for an interview or at a job, even if you don’t normally wear one, if it will make you more comfortable or better accepted working in a religious setting like a school or shul.)
The title sure does make a splash, though. When I mentioned the book on facebook, one person simply saw the title and replied “OF COURSE! ARE YOU ASHAMED OF BEING JEWISH?” Others were more calm, but immediately pointed out the inconsistency, with a few saying something along the lines of “it would be dishonest to present oneself as non-religious and then make any religious demands of the employer once hired.”
Someone suggested that “It doesn't have to all come out in the first meeting, but probably at some point in the interviewing/hiring process,” which is exactly the line taken by the authors of this book, who discuss at which point in the hiring stage it’s best to ask for Shabbat and holidays off.
So if the book isn’t just about whether or not to wear a kippah to a job interview, what is it about?