If an in­ter­viewer has asked you a per­sonal ques­tion, it could be in breach of equal­ity laws

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH -

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

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