Ethnic minority interviewees face prejudice

Employers often discriminate against job hunters from ethnic minority backgrounds at the interview stage, according to a government-commissioned report.

The Talk on Trial study, carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions and Kings College London (KCL), was based on 60 real interviews for basic roles.

It found that some interview practices were disadvantageous to ethnic minorities, including assessing foreign work experience.

Celia Roberts, senior research fellow at the Department of Education and Professional Studies and the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication at KCL, said candidates were often expected to have unnecessarily advanced communication skills.

The report did not indicate any overt discrimination by interviewers, but showed that work experience from other countries was not rated as highly as UK experience.

The report recommended that employers reassess competency frameworks at the interview stage, work more flexibly to provide support for ethnic minorities and provide better training for interviewers.

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