If you’ve been looking for a job for a long time, when that first interview comes along (or that second round of interviews), it’s easy to feel so eager to just get employment that you overlook some parts of the hiring process that don’t quite sit right with you. A lot of people have been there. You feel so powerless, as it seems the hiring party holds your fate in their hands, and you, quite frankly, need a paycheck, so you put on those rose-colored glasses and brush off that one odd question the interviewer asked you. You tell yourself it’s okay that the company is requiring you to do one project for free “as a sample” before hiring you. But…maybe it isn’t okay.
Unfortunately, women and particularly Black women often feel even more pressure to remain silent in the face of injustices during the hiring process. Research has found that hiring parties show biases towards women, and most specifically Black women, tending to rank Black women as less employable than their male, non-Black competition with the same resumes and experience. Sadly, this probably isn’t news to many reading this, and it’s a reality that many have in their minds when they go into the interview process.
We spoke to Dr. Keita Joy, a success coach who works with companies and individuals on building confidence and pursuing goals, about how Black women should be aware of their rights in the interviewing and recruitment process.
Don’t act like you need it
Even though it can be incredibly difficult to act like you don’t need a job when you do need a job, there’s a fine line between being grateful for the opportunity and desperate for it. But you must walk it. “Desperation can deter your destiny,” says Dr. Joy. “They [potential employers] sniff out your weakness and prey on that. They sell you the hype dream [saying] ‘if you just do this, this, and that [the job is yours].’” But “this, this, and that” may be things they don’t have the right to ask you to do.