RE: Interviews & red flags

Subject: RE: Interviews & red flags
From: "Stephen Arrants" <steve -at- microbrightfield -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 11:27:09 -0400

Sherry Michaels writes:
> Here's the deal: some questions, or information, are not only
> dangerous (like volunteering your sexual preference), but
> they are illegal. Also illegal is demonstrable preference for
> gender, religion, age and race. Lots of things that are said
> or done in an interview can appear to "demonstrate"
> an illegal preference.

Only illegal if coming from the employer. A candidate is free to reveal
any information
about himself at an interview, even information that is illegal for an
employer to ask.
The law isn't going to stop you from putting your foot in your mouth.

Also, it is very, very difficult to prove an "illegal preference" on the
part of
an employer, without a demonstrable history or multiple witnesses.

> The portfolio issue of the women in bathing suits: I'm sorry,
> I have to respond to that. A portfolio presented in a
> professional office environment for a job in technical
> writing (or web design, or graphics art) requires a
> professional portfolio. Unsuitable for that portfolio would
> be pictures of children, flowers, monuments or women in
> bathing suits and any number of other "hobby" type stuff. As
> a hiring professional, I'd shorten the interview
> significantly, not so much because of the content, but
> because of the lack of professional capability represented by
> such a portfolio. And the candidate would not be considered
> for the job. Regardless of my sexual orientation, race,
> religion, age, etc.

I don't see what's unprofessional about children, flowers, monuments, or
in bathing suits as part of a graphics portfolio. Graphics professionals
often have to
work with a wide variety of subjects in different environments, with
different constraints.
For technical writing, such a portfolio is probably as appropriate as
showing samples of letters
to the editor that you've written. Nice, but not applicable. For a
design position, they're
probably appropriate.


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