One in four UK professionals discriminated against in an interview

New research suggests that applicants feel discriminated against when going for a job interview, with most feeling neglected due to age.

The latest study from CV-Library finds nearly one in four (22 per cent) professionals in the UK have experienced discrimination during an interview, and for the majority (39.3 per cent) it was because of their age.

The survey of 1,200 workers, sought to reveal how many professionals in the UK have been affected by interview discrimination, and the reasons for this. The data finds that more than half of workers (51.5 per cent) don’t know their rights when it comes to interview discrimination and when asked why they experienced this prejudice, respondents cited the following:

Because of my age – 39.3 per cent
Because of my race – 10 per cent
Because of my gender – 8.9 per cent
Because I have disabilities – 6.7 per cent
Because of the school/university I went to – 3.7 per cent

Not only this, but the individuals that were most likely to feel discriminated against because of their age were those aged 55-64 and some workers admitted to experiencing discrimination because of their religion (three per cent) their sexuality (1.5 per cent) and their relationship status (1.1 per cent).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘It’s concerning to see that interview discrimination is so rife in the UK, with one in four being affected. Recruiters have a job to find the most suitable and skilled candidate for the role, regardless of age, race, gender or anything else. During an interview it’s important that you don’t let your preconceptions get in the way, and instead ensure you ask all the right questions to determine if they’re a good fit for the job.’

Furthermore, more than two thirds (68 per cent) believe that interview discrimination happens often and that the best way to solve this is with better training for interviewers (29.8 per cent). Further suggestions include: more awareness of the issue (27.9 per cent), following a set list of interview questions for all candidates (14.3 per cent) and interviewers being given a list of questions they can’t ask (12.3 per cent).

Biggins concludes, ‘Interviews are a two-way dialogue, so it could cause complications if recruiters were forced to stick to a script. That said, having a list of questions that you cannot ask, for example, ‘do you plan to have children?’ could help to reduce the risk of prejudice during the interview. Overall, interviewers have an important role to play, and while they must do what is best for the business, they also need to ensure that all candidates are given a fair chance – otherwise they could end up missing out on talented candidates!’

Further reading on your job interview

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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