Jonathan Rivett in The Age asks, ‘What is the best way to deal with questions that are out of line in a job interview?’
If you live in Adelaide, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve sat in job interviews where people have asked my sexual preferences, my political allegiances (that’s a short story), my age and more.
I’ve had articles I’ve written in the media and online 20 years ago, quoted back at me, as if the prospective employer is building a case for the prosecution.
I’ve seen such blatant examples of age and gender discrimination, in some cases, I’ve recommended people tape their job interviews.
Below is the gist from the Rivett article.
“I’m talking about blatantly inappropriate questions, and questions that [for example] insinuate that a candidate may be “too old” or that pregnancy would not be looked upon favourably.
“There are state and federal acts that set out specific laws around discrimination, and they can be applied to job interviews and candidate selection. If you’re worried about your legal rights with regard to an interview, I’d recommend talking to a legal professional.
“What does an interviewer’s questions tell you about them and the organisation they represent?
“What do we want from a job interview? A job interview is an exchange of information about a prospective relationship, a bit like a first date. You need to know what the expectations of that relationship are from your prospective employer, and they of you – how compatible you are.”
That pretty much sums it up.
Don’t worry about talking to a lawyer. Save your money and time. If you’re being perceived as old, fat, black, Muslim or a sexual object (women will pick up the signals from male interviewers), do you really want to be there?
You’re asking for trouble. If you think, ‘I can’t possibly work for these morons’, you’ve just hit a home run and saved yourself a lot of angst.