Young Jobseekers Complain of Invasive Questioning

      July 16, 2016 08:13

      Many young jobseekers complain about behavior bordering on harassment from prospective employers in their job interview.

      The Youth Hope Foundation polled 1,068 jobseekers between 19 and 29 and found that 64.8 percent felt offended by their treatment in the job interview.

      Some 46.9 percent said they lost confidence, 23.9 percent felt discouraged from seeking other jobs, and 14.6 developed a phobia of job interviews. Examples were appropriate questions (26 percent) and overbearing attitudes of potential employers (19.2 percent).

      One jobseeker said she felt when an interviewer made a nasty comment about her appearance. Others were asked questions such as, "Do you think a woman can do this job?" or "How long have you been dating your boyfriend/girlfriend?"

      Some 48.2 percent of inappropriate questions disparaged a jobseeker's academic credentials, while 43.9 percent invaded their privacy and 42.1 percent were gender discriminatory.

      Jobseekers complained that they were also mistreated before and after the interview by long waiting times, last-minute cancellations, failure to tell them the result and reneging on promises of a job.

      "I celebrated with my family when I heard I'd landed a job but then got an e-mail telling me it was an error," one woman recalls. "I tried calling the company but was given the cold shoulder."

      Some 1.9 percent said they gave up looking for jobs after experiencing discrimination or insulting treatment. "I was made to feel that there were plenty of people other than me who could do this job," one graduate said. "My appetite for the job disappeared when I realized what sort of treatment I could get in the new workplace."

      Although gender and age discriminatory practices have disappeared from application forms, they are still rampant in interviews. Little can be done to seek redress.

      One official at the Labor Ministry said it is practically impossible to produce evidence of unfair treatment in job interviews.

      Kim Jung-hyun (28), a student at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology who took part in the survey, said, "Young jobseekers should be able to sit in front of potential employers and leave the room without feeling offended, but the employers have to learn to treat us with respect rather than regarding us as future underlings."

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