When Those Pesky Women Want a Job

Wendy_Welder_Richmond_Shipyards (1)Last week a friend sent me the link to an article entitled “How to Interview a Female Applicant.”

Had it not been on wikihow (founded in 2005) and had the site not contained pictures showing people in fairly-modern dress, I would swear to you this content was deemed to be necessary and pertinent somewhere around 1972.

Here, for your reading pleasure, are a few of the tips:

  • Create a list of unisex questions (maybe this means NOT asking the men to “tell me about a time when you completed a time-sensitive project on deadline” when you ask the wimmen-folk to “tell me about a time when you baked a cake from scratch”)
  • Evaluate a female applicant based on her overall level of professional appearance (you know, unlike the dudes who you can pick apart on a checklist: shoes…pants…belt…facial hair…) 
  • Avoid asking questions about future plans or career goals when interviewing a female applicant. This could be seen as an attempt to discern whether the applicant has plans pertaining to marriage or children that could impede her future work performance (damn women always wanting to get married and have babies!)
  • Keep introductory questions related to business and the industry when interviewing a female job applicant. Questions about family or weekend plans are inappropriate and could set an informal tone that will prevent you from accurately evaluating the applicant (of course…with the MEN feel free to chat about football, beer drinking and how they keep the Mrs. in line). 

Do we still treat female applicants differently? I’m not talking females for tech roles (which may give us one answer) or females for executive leadership roles (which may give us another answer).

What about general-basic-entry-normal jobs? Do the kid gloves get put on? Do interviewers (male or female) get more anxious or nervous with female applicants? Afraid they will cross some invisible line because the person sitting across from them has ovaries?

I found an April 2015 article from Glamour Magazine (which, as a side note, made me think of George Costanza…am I right?) on the subject of “Are Male Interviewers Secretly Biased Against Women?”; wikihow or not we do continue to talk about this stuff.

Maybe we just sound smarter (or less guilty?) when we call it unconscious bias.


image: US Library of Congress Prints and Photography Division


One thought on “When Those Pesky Women Want a Job

  1. Wow. Just wow. Instead of focusing on male or female applicants, why don’t we just get to KNOW each individual as a person, employee, and intellectual being? Isn’t that what will show up to work everyday? Thanks for sharing, Robin!!

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