Rosie Reilly, 26, of Colchester, Essex, applied for a job as a full-time sales assistant in the opticians department of Boots in Richmond, SW London. She says she had informed the panel of her nose and ear piercings and hairstyle, which is shaved at the sides and curly on top, before being shortlisted for the post. Despite getting through the first part of the interview, staff said she wasn’t dressed “appropriately” for the trial on the shop floor.
After the incident, she expressed her frustration on Twitter, along with a photo of the outfit she wore, saying: ‘I thought I looked nice!’ In less than 24 hours, her post was liked by 600 users and retweeted 400 times.
She said: “I always check what to wear and explain about my hair and piercings. Boots didn’t tell me to dress in any way but smart casual and that’s what I did.”
“The interviewer said he did like my style but it wasn’t appropriate for Boots.
“When you’re unemployed you’re already not feeling 100 per cent, then something like this can really knock your confidence.
“She didn’t really seem interested in my experience.”
Rosie has previously worked at River Island, Topshop, Debenhams, BHS and Lush. She says that her style has “never been a problem” in any of her previous positions and that her outfit was her “go to” interview attire.
The aspiring retail worker admits that her hairstyle is “unconventional” but said that the interviewer did not directly say this was the issue. She has two tattoos on her arms which were partially visible – but said these were not mentioned by the interviewer specifically either.
Rosie was offered the opportunity to come back another day “dressed appropriately” but has decided not to return.
She said: “It was embarrassing to be honest. I was a bit flustered. I really wasn’t happy with it.
“It made feel bad about how I looked.”
A spokesperson for Boots Opticians said: “We’re disappointed to hear about the candidate’s experience in her interview and we are investigating the matter further.”
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