You can prepare for your job interview for weeks. You can read all the books, perform a million mock interviews, and you can apply for jobs that you know you are perfectly qualified for. Then you can go to the interview, ace it, and still not get the job.
Successful job interviews do not guarantee employment. They can’t. Even though job interviews are how hiring managers try to get to know applicants, there are other factors that affect employment.
Job Interview Biases
When we talk about job interview biases, we are not talking about racism, sexism, ageism, etc. Yes, those do still play a role in today’s economy, but now there are more safeguards in place to prevent them from occurring, and, though it will always be at least somewhat of a problem, most companies have overcome their bigotry when it comes to hiring the right candidate.
However, there are still biases that exist legally. These biases occur when a company believes that an individual does not fit what they want the company to “represent.” If you do not match how they want the company to be viewed by the public. Let’s look at two examples, one specific and one generic.
According to an article at AOL Jobs, a woman named Lynae was not hired for a job teaching at Weight Watchers because they believed her body type did not fit the mold of a positive role model for those looking to lose weight. They believed that her size would prevent her from being able to do her job, because her weight would get in the way of her message. This type of bias is completely legal, yet it is a bias nonetheless.
Recently, many websites have recommended that those applying to IT jobs dress casually to their job interview. Why? Because many IT companies will not hire workers that show up in a suit and tie, under the assumption that applicants that show up dressed too professionally will not appreciate the corporate culture. Here we have a bias against professionalism, in a job type that generally rewards people that are more relaxed about the corporate lifestyle.
Biases are Legal and Unavoidable
These types of job interview biases are completely legal. You cannot be protected against how a company views your appearance. Good or bad, it is important that you remember that there are parts of the job interview that are not completely in your control. Your goal is to do your best, and if you do not get the job, don’t let it get you down. It may be the company’s problem, not yours, and the company you applied for is going to lose out on a great applicant simply because of their own twisted biases.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Great interviews cannot guarantee a hiring.
- Don’t let getting passed up for a job cause you to feel down about yourself. It may have nothing to do with who you are as a person.