Equal opps forms

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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Equal opps forms

Post by lingua_franca » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:27 pm

I'm employed full-time as a postdoctoral research fellow, but I've been keeping an eye out for volunteer work that will let me stay clinically involved. I recently applied for two small voluntary roles, both in the NHS. In both the interviews, the interviewer brought up the disabilities I'd disclosed on the equal opportunities form. I was very startled by this, as the forms has the usual reassuring caveat about being for 'HR monitoring purposes only', 'equality and diversity', 'not part of the shortlisting process', etc. So how did my interviewers know?

In one of the interviews it was handled really positively, and even though I was taken aback that it was mentioned at all, I didn't feel discriminated against. I was later offered the position. In the other interview, it wasn't handled positively - the interviewer framed her question as, "It's very important that our volunteers are good at doing XYZ. With your disability, how do you think you'd manage that?" The wording of the question itself made me feel that I was being called on to defend my competence.

Does anyone who has been involved in shortlisting of any sort know if it is normal for interviewers to see equal opps forms, despite what the forms themselves say? I'm going to feel nervous about disclosing in future if there is a likelihood of this happening again, especially if it's for a paid post.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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Re: Equal opps forms

Post by Esuma » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:13 pm

Wow I'm very surprised by this... I always thought as you say that form was completely confidential and unless you apply via the two ticks scheme (IIRC the name) they wouldn't know about a disability unless you chose to disclose / at the point of being offered a role and going through occupational health. Interested to hear the feedback to this.. sorry to hear of your negative interview experience too

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