Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Revealed: One in four UK professionals have been discriminated against in an interview

…And for the majority this was because of their age

The latest study from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, has found that nearly one in four (22%) professionals in the UK have experienced discrimination during an interview, and for the majority (39.3%) 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 found that over half of workers (51.5%) 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%
  • Because of my race – 10%
  • Because of my gender – 8.9%
  • Because I have disabilities – 6.7%
  • Because of the school/university, I went to – 3.7%

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 (3%) their sexuality (1.5%) and their relationship status (1.1%). 

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

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!”