I have been interviewing for jobs and sometimes get the strong feeling that an interviewer is biased against me because of my age. (I’m pushing 60). What should I do when I have those feelings?
Sit down until the feeling passes. You don’t want to get light-headed and then fall and break a hip.
— Evil Skippy
What you should do depends on what happened during the interview. Blatant discrimination or rudeness should be confronted head on, in my opinion, but only after you confirm the interviewer said or did what you think was said or done. (“Would you repeat what you just said?” or “Did you just roll you eyes?”). Mere suspicions should probably be ignored unless a pattern develops that raises your suspicion to the level of a deduction.
If you believe you were subjected to age-based discrimination and you don’t care about filing a claim or seeking damages, I suggest that you still send a respectful, calm message to the head of the hiring organization summarizing your opinion and the facts that made you believe there was discrimination. If you are not seeking any kind of relief (money, a job, an apology) be sure to say so. It might give your message a bit more clout.
If you believe you were subjected to discrimination and you are interested in damages or relief of some kind, talk to the employment lawyer of your choice as soon as you can. Age discrimination cases are, as the professionals say, “hard”, and getting an early legal review will save you heartache and disappointment in the future. Also, as an old person, you already know time could be running out.
Readers — what advice would you give to J.S.?
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