A new study has uncovered the reality of the interview situation and how it differs between genders, discovering that two fifths of women have been asked inappropriate or even illegal questions by interviewers, compared to less than one in eight men. The research also revealed what inappropriate questions both sexes are likely to face.
On behalf of Debut (http://debut.careers), the world’s first student and graduate recruitment app, researchers polled a total of 2,810 Britons, with an equal amount of male and female respondents. All respondents were aged between 18-40 years old, currently in full-time employment and had attended at least one interview during the last three years.
In order to investigate whether there is a difference in interview experiences between the sexes, all respondents were asked asked to identify any inappropriate questions that they had been asked during an interview situation and provided with a list of possible answers. They were also able to state that they had not experienced any, if that was the case; to which 59% of female respondents stated that they had ‘never’ been asked inappropriate questions, compared to 88% of the male respondents.
The results revealed that of those polled, women were most likely to be asked about their marital or relationship status (27%), followed by their age (25%) and their future family plans (23%). By contrast, men were also most likely to be asked about their marital status (9%), but this was followed by their lifestyle habits, such as how much they drink or smoke, (7%) and their sexual preferences (7%).
Furthermore, 8% of female respondents taking part in the survey stated that they had been asked ‘other’ inappropriate questions, with respondents providing questions including whether they were currently pregnant and whether they found their interviewer attractive. Furthermore, when asked if they ever felt that they had been discriminated for or against on the basis of their gender, 21% of women stated that they felt they had, compared to 7% of men.
Charles Taylor, CEO of Debut commented:
“Having seen the results from the study, we were disappointed to find that so many people still experience inappropriate questions in an interview situation. Interviews can be difficult enough without also having to worry if your potential employer is going to ask whether you’re single, how many drinks you have at the weekend or whether you have a babysitter lined up for the kids! It’s not relevant to your potential as a candidate – so it shouldn’t be relevant to the interview.”
“We tend to believe that the playing field is becoming more level, but this could well be a mistake according to these results. It seems a lot of women are getting inappropriate questions. It is discriminative for employers to base their decision for a potential candidate on a person’s gender. If you ever experience these questions in an interview, you should consider whether you would really want to work at a company that holds those kind of values.”
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