Monday, April 7, 2014

Aging bias a reality during interviews

Failure to address disability-based discrimination isn’t the only omission by Films on Demand’s job interview videos. Try being perceived as “older” than the supervisor for the job you’re applying for.

In September 2013, I went on a job interview with the southern Oregon-based affiliate of a national nonprofit group. I had already experienced people adding years to my age because I walked with a cane.

During the interview, I was asked how I felt about taking orders from someone “younger than” me. I felt that the question singled me out as a perceived “older” candidate and would not have been asked equally of all applicants. At a minimum, the question made unflattering assumptions about my professionalism.

Again, Films on Demand should have done more than tell us not to volunteer information that employers are not allowed to ask. It should specifically advise applicants how to respond to illegal questioning.

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