Is Your Potential Boss Prejudiced Against You?

We explain how to identify a prospective employer who might be unconsciously bias against you

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Battle against prejudice

The UK continues to make progress towards ridding our society of prejudice, with increasing levels of anti-discriminatory legislation.

But this doesn’t change the prejudices people hold.

This may not be important, but if your boss has a prejudice against your type, you could have a problem.

It usually won’t be something covered by legislation. If your boss doesn’t like where you went to school, where you live, or who you live with, you could have a problem.

So how can you spot these prejudices at interview?

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Comments they make

It’s surprising how honest interviewers will be when confronted with a candidate against whom they have a prejudice.

A human resources officer was told at interview that he would be the first man to be employed by the company in the HR department.

Soon after his first day he realised he was not welcome in the all female department.

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Questions they ask

The questions you are asked are a direct indication of prejudices.

Candidates in their thirties have been asked, not just which school they went to, but what ‘type’ of school they attended.

They might also be asked why they are still single.

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Look around you

Companies like to promote the things their employees do.

Look at the pictures they have on their walls and in promotional magazines.

Do you see people who look like you?

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Meet the team

Ask to meet the people you will be working with.

How do they react to you?

Is there anybody like you in the team?

What, in their off guard moments do they say about their boss?

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Word on the street

It is likely that someone you know, perhaps in your professional association works at, or knows somebody who works at your prospective employer.

Or maybe they know a customer or supplier.

Ask them what they think.

Recruitment consultants are also a good source of information about companies, and the people who work in them.

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Have the courage to say No!

At the end of the day you need a clear picture of your prospective employer.

If you don’t like want you see, walk away.

Companies will only change when they realise that the prejudices of their employees stop them recruiting the people they need to ensure long term profitability.

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