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    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 3:27 PM
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    sharpsharp
    (indirect) discrimination of disablity at interview?
    • #1
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:27 PM
    (indirect) discrimination of disablity at interview? 9th Aug 18 at 3:27 PM
    I went for a job interview and as part of it they wanted a personality test done beforehand, and the interview rather than be asked normal questions was questions based on your answers for example about controlling your emotions and empathy.

    I am autistic and recovering from mental health problems I made them aware of the autism at interview but they rejected me based on my answers about my emotions
    I feel this is unfair as it doens't show my actual work capability and a normal interview method would do so, not arguing their right to an opinion but wondering if in some form its discrimination to not take that into account.
    Last edited by sharpsharp; 09-08-2018 at 3:29 PM.
Page 1
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 9th Aug 18, 3:29 PM
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    Takeaway_Addict
    • #2
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:29 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:29 PM
    I went for a job interview and as part of it they wanted a personality test done beforehand, and the interview rather than be asked normal questions was questions based on your answers for example about controlling your emotions and empathy.


    I am autistic and recovering from mental health problems I made them aware of the autism at interview but they rejected me based on my answers about my emotions.


    I feel this is unfair as it doens't show my actual work capability and a normal interview method would do so, not arguing their right to an opinion but wondering if in some form its discrimination to not take that into account.
    Originally posted by sharpsharp
    I'm not understanding why you even whilst autistic cannot answer questions on empathy and emotions?

    Were you specific in how you wanted an adjustment?


    Asking them to ignore half of their process probably doesn't come under reasonable IMO
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 3:36 PM
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    sharpsharp
    • #3
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:36 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:36 PM
    I'm not understanding why you even whilst autistic cannot answer questions on empathy and emotions?

    Were you specific in how you wanted an adjustment?

    Asking them to ignore half of their process probably doesn't come under reasonable IMO
    Originally posted by Takeaway_Addict

    Being autistic my understanding of emotions is limited but I still am aware of certain things, I struggle to pick up on certain things or self aware but that doesn't mean I am unskilled I can for example in a working enviroment pick up when a customer is irate or a supervisor is having a bad day and such, or a customer is anxious.


    But the flaw is that I can only pick on on what is right in front of my face (or I can hear on the phone) rather than fake emotions.


    What I meant by discrimination is that I don't have the deeper understanding of emotions but I can use it in the workplace, the questionaire they gave before interview didn't mention about workplace or personal life and I knew it was designed to catch people out.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 9th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
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    • #4
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:45 PM
    the questionaire they gave before interview didn't mention about workplace or personal life and I knew it was designed to catch people out.
    Originally posted by sharpsharp
    It may have been designed to weed out unsuitable candidates, not catch them out.

    If the ability to empathise, understand emotions etc is important in the role you applied for, it is a bit difficult to see how you would be comfortable in such an environment. Choosing the best person for the job is good commercial sense on the part of a prospective employer, not discrimination.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 9th Aug 18, 3:47 PM
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    • #5
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:47 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:47 PM
    Being autistic my understanding of emotions is limited but I still am aware of certain things, I struggle to pick up on certain things or self aware but that doesn't mean I am unskilled I can for example in a working enviroment pick up when a customer is irate or a supervisor is having a bad day and such, or a customer is anxious.


    But the flaw is that I can only pick on on what is right in front of my face (or I can hear on the phone) rather than fake emotions.


    What I meant by discrimination is that I don't have the deeper understanding of emotions but I can use it in the workplace, the questionaire they gave before interview didn't mention about workplace or personal life and I knew it was designed to catch people out.
    Originally posted by sharpsharp


    But what's the job? Presumably they asked all applicants these questions. I think - In their opinion you would not, even with reasonable adjustments, be able to do the job.


    That's not discrimination.
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 3:54 PM
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    sharpsharp
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:54 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:54 PM
    But what's the job? Presumably they asked all applicants these questions. I think - In their opinion you would not, even with reasonable adjustments, be able to do the job.

    That's not discrimination.
    Originally posted by Comms69

    Call centre staff which I already have almost 6 years experience in of which one was for a medical based role and I dealt with sick and bereaved customers so needed empathy for the role.


    Some of the questions asked things like "do you find life enjoyable" Others are more understandable like "do you effectively work with people" Then there was ones about coping with stress, motivation and such


    The pre interview email did outright state the interview questions would be based on my responses to the questionaire so they would of had to choose ones that stood out which of course were related to issues with my autism as they never asked me questions on the purely work related questions/answers.


    I can understand why they focus on certain questions but the ones they did I struggled with due to my various disabilities autism being one of them which don't reflect my actual work skills.


    It may have been designed to weed out unsuitable candidates, not catch them out.

    If the ability to empathise, understand emotions etc is important in the role you applied for, it is a bit difficult to see how you would be comfortable in such an environment. Choosing the best person for the job is good commercial sense on the part of a prospective employer, not discrimination.
    Originally posted by Brynsam

    I am actually very empathetic thats something I see as a positive I even gave an example at the interview but was difficult since they wanted short and direct answers not like a regular interview I was praised at former call centre due to how good I was and how I would get customers ring back just to praise my performance and even the supervisors/managers said I went above and beyond.


    What I believe happened is in a interview setting I cannot show my actual skills, I admit to being more anxious when being assessed as unlike the actual training and workplace you don't know company policies and can't use computer to get information.
    Last edited by sharpsharp; 09-08-2018 at 3:57 PM.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 9th Aug 18, 3:55 PM
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    Undervalued
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:55 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:55 PM
    It is not unlawful to reject a disabled applicant if they are unable to adequately do the job, despite reasonable adjustments being made.

    Their interview process was, presumably, designed in a way that they believed would assess the skills they felt necessary. I am not totally clear if you feel the assessment should have been different as, due to your disability, they would have gained the wrong impression of your skills?

    That, if reasonable, could presumably have been done only if they had prior knowledge of your disability or if they called you back for some different assessment on another day.

    Or are you saying you feel they rejected you due to your disability without considering if reasonable adjustments would have allowed you to do the job satisfactorily?

    The extent of "reasonable adjustments" can vary hugely. With a senior highly skilled post it may be reasonable even to employ a full time assistant to enable the disabled person to do the job. Clearly that would be totally non viable for a more ordinary job in a small company.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 9th Aug 18, 3:59 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:59 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 3:59 PM
    In all honesty, if the role needed those skills you'd have been unhappy if you'd been picked without that test to "weed you out" as they become dissatisfied with you when you failed to respond in a way they expected.

    With such a rigid and fixed HR recruiting process, it's probably done you a favour as maybe their environment wouldn't have been "for you" in the medium-long term and would have just made you unhappy and feeling like poo for not being able to operate in a way they automatically expected.

    It's not you .... it's the system.

    I, too, am on the scale and would rather "be out of it" and not find myself unhappy and floundering in a role that depended in any way on the interpretation of the random and bizarre behaviours of NTs.
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
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    sharpsharp
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    It is not unlawful to reject a disabled applicant if they are unable to adequately do the job, despite reasonable adjustments being made.

    Their interview process was, presumably, designed in a way that they believed would assess the skills they felt necessary. I am not totally clear if you feel the assessment should have been different as, due to your disability, they would have gained the wrong impression of your skills?

    That, if reasonable, could presumably have been done only if they had prior knowledge of your disability or if they called you back for some different assessment on another day.

    Or are you saying you feel they rejected you due to your disability without considering if reasonable adjustments would have allowed you to do the job satisfactorily?

    The extent of "reasonable adjustments" can vary hugely. With a senior highly skilled post it may be reasonable even to employ a full time assistant to enable the disabled person to do the job. Clearly that would be totally non viable for a more ordinary job in a small company.
    Originally posted by Undervalued

    I did make them aware of the autism before they started asking the questions as well as mention it at the previous phone interview.


    I agree about reasonable adjustment I don't want preferential treatment even if it seems that way but understanding that certain things I would struggle to convey I know that once in a role I would shine.


    I have a council member of staff who offered to sit in with me first week when I get a job as well as get taxis to work and back but I feel I don't need that as I have the skills for these roles its just getting that point across effective due to various disabilities/learning difficulties.
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 4:06 PM
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    sharpsharp
    In all honesty, if the role needed those skills you'd have been unhappy if you'd been picked without that test to "weed you out" as they become dissatisfied with you when you failed to respond in a way they expected.

    With such a rigid and fixed HR recruiting process, it's probably done you a favour as maybe their environment wouldn't have been "for you" in the medium-long term and would have just made you unhappy and feeling like poo for not being able to operate in a way they automatically expected.

    It's not you .... it's the system.
    I, too, am on the scale and would rather "be out of it" and not find myself unhappy and floundering in a role that depended in any way on the interpretation of the random and bizarre behaviours of NTs.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    With my autism my main flaw is self awareness of my own emotions and certain types of picking up other peoples if someone asks me how I felt I would say fine even if I was drained or having a bad day because I was coping, if someone else was coping even though they were stressed it would be hard for me to pick up on apart from a few small noticable things like certain body movements, tone of voice all that the issue would be would I could not tell how severe their problem was just they had one unless they were clearly agitated.

    In a call centre enviroment you can hear peoples anxieties, from things like tone and speed of voice, if they are irate and from what they tell you on phone.

    I knew I can do the role as its pretty much the same as my years of experience which I was praised for at each call centre I worked out just been out of work a few years after I lost last job as the company closed and my partner died a few months later.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 9th Aug 18, 5:46 PM
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    shortcrust
    Their perfectly legitimate recruitment approach didn't suit you and you didn't get the job. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people have had the same experience today and it has nothing to do with autism or discrimination.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 9th Aug 18, 6:52 PM
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    xapprenticex
    What do you actually want out of this?



    Even if you told them they were (indirectly) discriminating against you, i highly doubt it would boost your chances of getting a job there now or later.



    Take a 'L' and move on to the next interview.
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 7:17 PM
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    sharpsharp
    What do you actually want out of this?



    Even if you told them they were (indirectly) discriminating against you, i highly doubt it would boost your chances of getting a job there now or later.



    Take a 'L' and move on to the next interview.
    Originally posted by xapprenticex

    Honestly not much but I am fed up with being turned down for interviews due to certain expectations when I know I can do a role and knowing that flaw is based in disability and not reflective of work skill its more I wanted to see if people saw it as discrimination because as much as I can try and improve my interview skills certain things will be very difficult to change due to what they are plus I wanted to use the feedback to not boost an ego but break down the issue into related to disability so I can adjust myself best I can and not feel a failure.



    Their perfectly legitimate recruitment approach didn't suit you and you didn't get the job. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people have had the same experience today and it has nothing to do with autism or discrimination.
    Originally posted by shortcrust

    Six of one, I never said it wasn't legitimate but at same time in this modern world it didn't take into account certain things and a personality test makes certain expectations of "normal" of which many people with autism would struggle with which is why I see it as potential indirect discrimination.


    Since they as expected focused the interview questions on things specifically autistic people struggle with such as social situations it doesn't take it into account nor does it show the skill of the interviewee.


    I for example struggle in social situations but shine in the workplace, since the questioning only focused on social situations it meant I came across as bad and says everyone should be confident I have a lot of empathy for people but not traditional confidence which is why I work well in call centres, confidence does help but I'd say people would rather a calm friendly person who deals with their problem than a overconfident person who isn't that great that may sound like judging im just giving a example.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 9th Aug 18, 7:21 PM
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    Comms69
    Honestly not much but I am fed up with being turned down for interviews due to certain expectations when I know I can do a role and knowing that flaw is based in disability and not reflective of work skill its more I wanted to see if people saw it as discrimination because as much as I can try and improve my interview skills certain things will be very difficult to change due to what they are plus I wanted to use the feedback to not boost an ego but break down the issue into related to disability so I can adjust myself best I can and not feel a failure.






    Six of one, I never said it wasn't legitimate but at same time in this modern world it didn't take into account certain things and a personality test makes certain expectations of "normal" of which many people with autism would struggle with which is why I see it as potential indirect discrimination.


    Since they as expected focused the interview questions on things specifically autistic people struggle with such as social situations it doesn't take it into account nor does it show the skill of the interviewee.


    I for example struggle in social situations but shine in the workplace, since the questioning only focused on social situations it meant I came across as bad and says everyone should be confident I have a lot of empathy for people but not traditional confidence which is why I work well in call centres, confidence does help but I'd say people would rather a calm friendly person who deals with their problem than a overconfident person who isn't that great that may sound like judging im just giving a example.
    Originally posted by sharpsharp
    Is t that upto the company though. These are their representatives; thatís the image they want to project
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 9th Aug 18, 7:25 PM
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    motorguy
    I dont think theres a world shortage of call centres and call centre jobs?

    Just try a different one.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 9th Aug 18, 7:29 PM
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    jobbingmusician
    I'm not an expert, but I do disagree.


    I think this is worth reporting to the EHRC. Use of a questionnaire like this will clearly weed out any autistic candidates who have problems with empathy (almost a definition of autism). Although the employer might argue that call centre workers need empathy with their customers, your successful employment in a similar role would seem to refute this.
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    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 9th Aug 18, 7:33 PM
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    motorguy
    I'm not an expert, but I do disagree.


    I think this is worth reporting to the EHRC. Use of a questionnaire like this will clearly weed out any autistic candidates who have problems with empathy (almost a definition of autism). Although the employer might argue that call centre workers need empathy with their customers, your successful employment in a similar role would seem to refute this.
    Originally posted by jobbingmusician
    He failed an interview process that everyone sits because he didnt have the skills they are looking for, therefore surely this is the very definition of equality?
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 9th Aug 18, 7:47 PM
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    Smellyonion
    He failed an interview process that everyone sits because he didnt have the skills they are looking for, therefore surely this is the very definition of equality?
    Originally posted by motorguy
    Theres no such thing as equality. To have true equality, you wouldn't need interviews, hire on a coin toss. Interviews exist to differentiate.

    Interviews are there to filter the best candidate for the job. This person didn't make and if it was an interview focused on emotional awareness then yes, the autism likely played a part. Is it fair? probably not, is it illegal? Unlikely. If you need a delivery man, it's not discrimination to not hire someone with 1 leg and one 1 arm.

    The op should see it as a blessing. Why would they want to work for such an employer, it's not a good fit. Chin up and try again.
    • sharpsharp
    • By sharpsharp 9th Aug 18, 7:51 PM
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    sharpsharp
    He failed an interview process that everyone sits because he didnt have the skills they are looking for, therefore surely this is the very definition of equality?
    Originally posted by motorguy

    I'd dispute the word "skills" as I have the skills for the job as well as other skills including tech skills of a very high level, years of experience and they had young staff there who had no prior work experience.


    I also was onto the 3rd stage of the interview process first 2 were telephone interviews and I passed with great answers since that was more a traditional style interview.


    Though I would dispute how I am in a non work related social event relates to how well I can handle a phonecall.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Aug 18, 7:52 PM
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    sangie595
    I'd just have to point out that everyone, including the OP, is assuming that they didn't make adjustments. I'm not seeing any evidence we know that. We have no idea what the OPs results were, how those compared to those of other candidates, and whether, or even if, any adjustments were made.

    The OP needs to prove that. They haven't said anything to show that they have here.

    I'd also point out that the OP says that they are "fed up of being turned down". I can certainly understand that. But if it is the case that they are not getting jobs, it is entirely within reason to look at whether there are other factors at play. Certainly, before you can prove discrimination you'd need to show that this was the only factor at play - or, at least, a very substantial one. Compared to, for example, having been out of work for "a few" years (what does that mean?) having "lost their job" (that can mean a lot of things), and followed by a death shortly afterwards (which I'm sorry about, but equally, employers are going to query why that resulted in you being out of work for years). Because, if I'm being brutally honest - with no recent experience of work, out of date skills, and no clear reason for being out of work for so long, nobody would need a disability to struggle to get a job. Those things on their own would raise alarm bells.
    Last edited by sangie595; 09-08-2018 at 7:54 PM.
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