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If an interviewer has asked you a personal question, it could be in breach of equality laws
It’s not unusual to be lost for words during an interview, but if you’ve been left speechless by an overly personal question you could have been discriminated against at your job interview.
As a general rule, employers should not ask about age, marital status, health, spent criminal convinctions or trade union membership during the interview process – doing so could be in breach of The Equality Act 2010.
Latest research suggests that this sort of discrimination is still not being taken seriously – as one in five UK professionals admit to having experienced discrimination during an interview at some point.
And just recently, the new leader of the Labour Party in New Zealand, Jacinda Arden, said it was “unacceptable” for women in the workplace to be asked about their motherhood plans after she was quizzed about having a child during an interview on TV.
The research from CV Library also discovered that those who had experienced discrimination found it to be because of their age (39.3 per cent), race (10 per cent), gender (8.9 per cent), disabilities (6.7 per cent) or school/universities (3.7 per cent).
“It’s concerning to see that interview discrimination is so rife in the UK, with one in five being affected,” says Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.
He adds,“More worryingly, over half of candidates don’t know their rights should they be affected.” But unfortunately, unless the interviewer asks you an intrusive question in front of witnesses, proving discrimination can be a difficult.
If you do suspect you’ve been victim to prejudice during an interview, Lee advises getting in touch with the business to request comprehensive feedback from the interview, or if you’re still not satisfied get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Interview discrimination appears to be an issue employers need to tackle head on according to the feedback from respondents with 29.8 per cent agreeing the best way to solve the problem is for interviewers to have training and 27.9 per cent saying there needs to be more awareness of the issue.
“It’s certainly worrying that so many people believe discrimination is a common occurrence during interviews. That said, there are steps which can be taken to reduce the likelihood of this happening, and raising awareness around the situation is the first hurdle to tackle,” says Lee. “If you believe you’ve been discriminated against it’s important to speak out – this is a subject which needs to be discussed so that we can begin to find a permanent solution!”
“It’s concerning to see that interview discrimination is so rife in the UK, with one in five being affected.” Lee Biggins Founder and managing director, CV Library