Recruitment/Talent Acquisition, Career counselling & Startup Advisory Services
Hello Deen Mohammed,

Without getting into semantics & right/wrong, let's see @ your query from a different perspective.

You mentioned that you are working in Bahrain now & are pretty happy too. Now let's presume I TOO AM interested in working there--BUT I want to attend the Interview in my traditional Indian attire. Will I be encouraged or considered? Pl note that when I say 'attire' here, I mean the dress and everything else THAT THE OTHER PERSON SEES.

In a way, I think Dinesh & others have used the WRONG words--though I am sure they meant the right thing, knowing their responses in CiteHR since long--the actual focus for anyone is on PERSONAL APPEARANCE, rather than 'personal preference'.

Like the Saying goes: "Be a Roman while in Rome" [Simhan used a Kannada proverb to highlight this point].

And PL DON'T MIX-UP 'Personality' with 'Appearance' OR 'Preference'. Since you seem to be spiritual [mind you, this is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from being 'religious'], let me mention a few aspects from that angle.

You took the examples of Mahatma Gandhi & Dr. Manmohan Singh. It's human nature to give some SEMBLANCE of leeway to those who have proved themselves in any arena of life/profession--and pl note I am speaking from the GLOBAL CONTEXT. You are comparing yourself with Mahatma Gandhi's attire/appearance--AFTER.....REPEAT AFTER....he made his mark in the way he dealt with the British Empire--thru Non-violence, when the general accepted practice until then [and even today] has been thru violence/war.

You are @ the stage when Gandhi was as an attorney, like Simhan mentioned, wearing Suit & Tie. I am sure you will find many photos of that attire of Gandhi.

Forget about Gandhi--a most recent example would be that of MF Hussain--the World-renowned Painter. He NEVER EVER wore shoes...at the very best he wore chappals/slippers & many times not even those. But he surely had to face situations that can be, to put mildly, termed absolute rejection. But that didn't deter him from focusing on what he believed in. And when he attained his place in History, everyone, right from Top-notch persons in the world never saw 'not wearing any footwear' as any flaw in him. I recollect seeing him in a 5-star Hotel with top Film Stars discussing animatedly & all of them were keenly lapping his every word [he wasn't wearing any footwear when I saw him]. But mind you, this was AFTER, like I said, he made his mark. Another example from the global scene would be Albert Einstein. I am sure there would be MANY MORE.

So the Moral of the Story, if I may say so, would be to FOCUS ON WHAT YOU AIMED FOR in your life/career--and the World will fall @ your feet....no pun intended pl.

Since you seem to have just begun your life/career journey, I suggest you NOT TO get distracted in your goals with such situations. To repeat the very same example you mentioned, of Mahatma Gandhi: had he focused on his horrible & distressing experiences [being thrown off the I class compartment of the train being just one of them], WOULD HE HAVE BECOME what we all know now? The ONLY thing you need to be careful about is YOUR CHOICE OF YOUR GOAL--just ensure it's something that benefits you & the society at large.

NOW let me repeat that I am NOT EVEN referring to the 'Right' OR 'Wrong' aspects of the situations you mentioned. It all depends on how one views such situations. To take one recent, but extreme, example: The whole world was dismayed & criticized the Kenya Mall or the 26/11 Mumbai attacks--but ask those who perpetrated them? Or the local goonda throwing his tantrums? You know the answers.

Hope you get the point.

All the Best.



From India, Hyderabad
Dr. Vikas V.

Factory Medical Officer (Snr. Manager)
Hi Deen Mohammed

I understand you are hurt. I fully understand and agree with you that your outward depiction may not affect your work efficiency, but the rules laid in corporates are needed to be followed. I'm sure if you are the boss and while taking interviews of various canditates, as Nas said if a candidate come in Dhoti, Choti and tilak or in Gandhi attire, probably you would also reject him immaterial to his knowledge. In an interview one judges a person in few minutes only and there his knowledge, experience, appearance and confidence are judged in those few minutes only. Hence everything matters including your dressing sense to some extent. As Nash very rightly said "Wear as per the occassion".

When MG was studying in London or while he was practicing law, he wore western attires only. It was only later when he came to India and went around India in train to see the condition of the common masses, he realised the poor state of these people hence he decided to wear a short dhoti and a peice of cloth for the upper body. And what made him Mahatma, probably his thinking, his mission, his work and very importantly his "ATTIRE".

Probably you are misunderstanding Mr. Devikar & Miss Couvery. Clean the clutter in your mind for a moment then read their a well as Nash's answers, you would understand it better.

I'm working in an Automobile manufacturing plant which was taken over by the present group from a different group 4 years ago. We have people from all the casts, creeds and religions working over here. As it is a 26 year old plant, almost every department had a small temple placed there with the pictures of the variouis deities as per the belief system of that depertment people. Every Tue. and Thur. their used to be big prayer session as well depending upon the deities.

When the new management took over and saw this, they decided to against it. All the temples were removed from shop floors. Even prasad and use of agarbatties were banned. I'm myself very religious but I totally am in favour of this ban. You are free to follow any religion personally but inside a prduction hall everybody follows only one religion, "Manufacturing" and I fully agree.

Do not take such things personally as you end up hurting yourself only and thats a sin.


Dr. Vikas Vikram


From India
Dear Deen,
As a Muslim we should always believes in our religion obligation which is already asked us to do it. Like praying five times a day, offering support to other brothers and sister, but indeed as a professional this point should be note it, that profession is somehow separate it ; from the the religion, and in your case it was a discrimation. However my advice is to you to change yourself according to your job/environment situation. Thus the life example could not Dr. Zakir Niak.

From Singapore, Singapore

Partner - Risk Management

I do not know exactly what type of company you went to or what you faced, since you chose to be vague in your post. Our members have given you lots of inputs.

If I understand rightly (you didn't confirm it) you are alleging religious discrimination.

I see it from various perspectives

1. Religious and regional discrimination is very common all over the world. The reverse is also true. Go to any office owned by a Muslim, you will find majority of the employees are Muslim. They hire Muslim employees even if they are not the best choice available. Hindu owned companies generally will not bother much about it. They will discriminate more on region. Malayalam / Tamil / Bengali / punjabi / Gujarati / kachhi etc.

This happens in other countries also

2. You got a job in the gulf, in a Muslim country. Did you get it purely on merit ? You were the best candidate available ? Or is that Hindu candidates are given lower preference and lower salary there ?

3. Most large companies prefer a secular environment. In a secular environment they will avoid discrimination against a particular religion. But they will not allow a visible display of religious symbols. The recruiters have their own bias, not only on religion but also on skin color, language, etc which the company is not in a position to deal with, since they can't review every ones work. They will review if there is a specific complain

4. Hr is generally a critical and visible function where independence from all obvious religious symbolism is best avoided specially to avoid complains of unfair treatment of a particular religion even where such unfair treatment does not exist. It's not only your beard and cap. They would generally avoid a Tamil with a big u marked on his head with Chandan each morning. Cause it has the same effect - a visible manifestation of your possible inner bias.

5. You are free to follow your religion, and you are free to decide whether it's at home or to carry it to office. But then you must be ready to have your scope of work and options available narrowed. You must then find a job in a place where your wishes to display your religion and preferences are welcome (as you have). If that is a loss of talent for a different organisation or a loss of talent for india, it's not your problem.

But if you wish to work in a particular organisation you must adhere to their stated or unstated dress code. For example if you are to be a successful merchant banker, you can not dress in a kurta, even if you this they should allow Indian traditional clothes. If a lady wants to be a successful relationship manager in a bank, she can not wear a burka or a ghunghat, though both are considered to be the required dress for a woman in many parts of our country. If they wish to wear that then they must be willing to accept that their access to the job market will accordingly be curtailed.

Lastly, your question on manmohan Singh was funny. He has always worn western clothes. He used to wear 3 piece suites all the time when he was the governor of reserve bank. Yes, that is the reason why he was chosen, because of his clothes and personality when there were many better econimicsts available. Of course, now it seem there was another set of consideration, but that is not the point of debate here.

Consider these points from an open mind. This is what the reality is.

From India, Mumbai

I can't relate your post to the subject you have posted "Is personality a factor of judging a persons productivity?"

Both the variables are totally unrelated and can not be compared. When you went for an interview, HR personnel didn't take your interview to check your productivity. Productivity can only be measured after working for sometime. So if HR personnel wanted to measure your productivity, he would've hired you for 3-6 months and then checked your productivity. Since it wasn't the case, I would say he didn't discriminate but it was his personal bias that came in the picture. I've seen lots of Muslim friends of mine who don't wear cap or grow beard but I haven't seen a single sikh friend of mine who goes out without wearing a turban (Turban is mandatory for older siblings by the way) or beard. So yeah, people who follow sikhism compulsorily grow beard and wear turban but that is not the case with Islamism.

He didn't check your productivity.

He didn't reject you based on discriminating ideas.

One can't judge productivity based on personality.

Both are totally different.

Hope my points are clear. All the best for your future. :)

From India, Mumbai

Mr Deen Mohammad,

I have seen umpteen cases where Indian Muslims are treated as B Grade Muslims in the Middle East.

Despite the supposition that Muslims are supposed to be casteless.. the Muslim society has all kinds of discriminations within the society and regionwise.

In the Middle East the Non Muslims are not permitted to be seen eating during the Ramzan time. Isn't that discrimination?

Anyways coming to your story....It may be true that the company didn't select you based on your appearance. But also i have seen so many Muslims although rejected on the basis of competency go on complaining about discrimination.

Indian Companies are fairly secular in their culture as is the country and it would be good if you stop looking at your Motherland through such a narrow prism.

There is nothing wrong if a company expects its personal to appear in a certain way.

I have served in the Indian Army for 21 years. Everyone is free to follow his religion but everyone is expected to dress in a certain way. Yet the Army the best secular model for the country.

Comparison with Sikhs or Gandhi is irrelevant. Yes you do something as great as Gandhi and then people will accept you for that.

You can be a cleanshaven Muslim like APJ Abdul Kalam/ Mohammad Yunus (Nobel Prize-Bangladesh) and contribute to the country /society.

Unfortunately a number of youth find it fashionable to put on external religious symbols like cap or beard and think that they are very religious.

I think religion has got more to do with deeds than dress and looks.

If you want to remembered like Gandhi then do something good for the world so that people remember you as a good human being.


From India, Delhi
Dear senior members ,

I think in the present scenario the personality of a person i.e, how he/she looks like,the body language,communication skills,conversation style ,way of expressing his/her ideas,mental conditions during the meeting with strangers,mental ability to face the worst situations etc has been a great importance for the recruiters.They just want the best of the best employees for their companies to stand among the top companies .For this purpose they don't want to miss any criteria for the selection of skilled people .

But it should not be based on the discrimination of religion . If the selection of any recruiter is based on the discrimination of castes and religions then this is wrong .The selection should not only based on the bookish knowledge you have got during your study period .It should only be based the talent,working ability and the required skills.

We all know very well in the ground level this not happens .I am not saying that this is happening every sectors,but this is true in some cases.This can be removed only by the education power .We should encourage the higher level of education in every part of the country ,only then this kind of misjudgement can be stopped.The rules should be same for everyone either he/she is hindu,muslims,sikhs,christians or whatever his/her religion is ....!!!!

From India, Hajipur

Dear AHDM,

1:- Today, a particular job is not just limited to skills, knowledge or intellectual asset. But, overall (Personality & intellect) is considered. For an eg:- Person working in show business, service industry( hotels & tourism) needs to be well groomed (clean shaved, cropped hair etc..for women simple jewelries, good face & physical attributes).

2:- Can a person work (employed) wearing shorts (Knee exposed) in a mosque? No! He can't bcz the prerequisite as per Islam your knee should be covered. Can a female (employee) can be hired to work inside mosque? No!...(Female is not allowed inside mosque).

Reason:- As per Job description & Job specification required for the above mentioned positions there are few prerequisite which needs to be fulfilled.

Same way, jobs for which you were interviewed might have same prerequisites.

"How does a personality of a person plays a major role in his job productivity and judging his competencies before getting recruited?"

Ans:- For this, please refer examples of Miss. World, Miss. Universe. Few of them who won the title were not fair in complexion (Please excuse, not intended to offend any one for being black). But still they were chosen winners. Mr. Obama is fine example of it.

Personality is not just outer appearance but the internal qualities too of a person.

In this world in every field there are good & bad people too. People who made you feel inferior due to your appearance are not professionals. People who rejected you was on the basis of job specification (Professionals).

From India, Pune

Manager - Learning & Development
Hi Deen Md.,
As most of the seniors in this thread have shared there views. However while I was reading this post a thought struck my mind, here we are talking about human beings but when we visit holy places let it be a Mosque/Temple or Church we have to be in a different attire... Agreed? Everyday you go to bed you need to get into you night suit... Agreed?
Find out answers for my questions.. and the same will be the answer for you post or doubt...

From India, Chennai

Manager - Learning & Development
In Addition to my previous post, Just want to clarify the definition of personality all different, How ever you are here mentioning about appearance.. and yes appearance does matter for that instance the examples you gave MG or Man mohan singh they are/were always well dresses.. the attire might be different but they both or any successful individual has to show a pleasant appearance.
From India, Chennai

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