Shared Story: Interview Questions 2

Even more recently than the interview in which I was asked how I would manage the position while raising children, during an on-campus formal committee interview an older male professor turned to me and asked in an arch tone, “And do you have any family BAGGAGE we should know about?” When I gasped and sat there speechless for a few seconds, a female professor jumped in and said, “Oh yes, we ARE allowed to ask you that question.”

I can’t remember what I said, but when I got home I looked up human rights/labour law for that [geographical locality] and learned that in fact, questions about family status were actually, not just potentially, illegal in that jurisdiction. I wrote a carefully-worded note to the department head pointing this out in as politely and constructively as I could, but he didn’t respond.

Didn’t get that job either.

(Submitted: June 4, 2015)

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