One in five faces discrimination in job interviews

One in five UK professionals has been discriminated against in an interview according to new research - and age is the biggest issue of all.

A new study by online job board CV-Library has found that 22% of professionals in the UK have experienced discrimination during an interview, and for the majority (39%) it was because of their age.

Those individuals most likely to feel discriminated against because of their age were those aged 55-64. Overall, respondents that had experienced prejudice cited the following reasons:

  • Their age (39%);
  • Their race (10%);
  • Their gender (9%);
  • Their disabilities (7%);
  • The school or university they went to (4%).

Some workers also said they had experienced discrimination because of their religion (3%) their sexuality (1.5%) and their relationship status (1.1%). The survey of 1,200 workers also found that over half of workers (51%) don't know their rights when it comes to interview discrimination.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: "It's concerning to see that interview discrimination is so rife in the UK, with one in five being affected. More worryingly, over half of candidates don't know their rights should they be affected. If you experience prejudice during an interview, be sure to get in touch with the business and request comprehensive feedback as to their decision not to hire you."

The survey found that 68% of respondents said they believe that interview discrimination happens often and that the best way to solve this is with better training for interviewers (30%). Other suggestions included: more awareness of the issue (28%), following a set list of interview questions for all candidates (14%) and interviewers being given a list of questions they can't ask (12%).

"It's certainly worrying that so many people believe discrimination is a common occurrence during interviews," said Biggins. "That said, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of this happening, and raising awareness around the situation is the first hurdle to tackle. If you believe you've been discriminated against it's important to speak out."

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