How to avoid being a token candidate

Facebook AskingFor
Apr 15 21 Comments

A friend of mine has been interviewing for data analyst roles but hasn't been able to clear them. She's in a minority category so she gets the feeling that she's being interviewed just so that the teams interviewing her can show that they have interviewed all classes of people for this role before hiring the candidate they really wanted.

How can she detect that something like this is happening since she's poring 100% of herself in each interview.

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Amazon ehuuS
    Your friend is getting interviews more easily and she wants to stop??
    Apr 15 1
    • InVision ihLE16
      Yes, because they’re not going to hire her if she’s a token. She wants to do interviews where they’ll actually hire her.
      Apr 21
  • BlackRock xis
    Are you implying that the firms interviewing him/her/they had no intention to hire your friend?
    Does your friend believe they did not get a fair shot in the interview?
    Apr 15 2
    • Hubspot pluot
      A number of companies follow the Rooney Rule: you are required to interview minority candidates before making a hiring decision. But for hard tech positions where you must clear a hard technical bar, desperate recruiters may line up relatively underqualified minority candidates anyway in strict adherence to the rule. Nothing against minority engineers, but the truly qualified are in high demand and rare because, ahem, they are a statistical minority. So if you are a second or third rung business without the prestige to attract those rare engineers, you just go through the motions with whatever candidates you find. This serves neither side well, but is valuable virtue signalling.
      Apr 15
    • Facebook AskingFor
      OP
      @blackrock yes based on the fact that almost every time she's told that they picked another candidate or the hiring manager closed the role etc... (This has happened at least 10 times now).
      Apr 28
  • Airbnb he110
    So you’re saying your friend is under-qualified but got an interview anyway?
    Tech companies are so desperate for talent that if you do well in the interview they’ll give you an offer. In addition, tech employee’s time is valuable: you wouldn’t want to waste people’s time interviewing someone all day just so you can reject them.
    Apr 15 5
    • SAP quo vad
      This can hardly be generalized
      Apr 15
    • Airbnb he110
      Don’t see how your comment is in any way applicable. Interviewing someone with the sole intention of rejecting them is a terrible business decision and extremely costly. Either the company is dumb or the person is imagining.
      Apr 15
    • If the company has "must interview x% underrepresented minorities" as a goal, the recruiter is just covering their ass if the candidate is qualified or borderline.

      If the candidate is grossly unqualified, the interviewers may call out the recruiter.
      Apr 15
    • Gap / Eng randUser
      Yikes. No. The employer could have simply found an internal candidate or already picked their person but still interview minorities to say they did, even though they never stood a chance unless they were overqualified
      Apr 15
    • Facebook AskingFor
      OP
      @randuser seen this happen ^^^ a lot especially with internal transfers.
      Apr 28
  • Uber zippedy
    I believe I've experienced this many times. I like to ask the recruiters about other candidates for the role and where they are in the process. If I find out I'm being brought in at the end, I don't bother to go because they have likely already made a decision and are bringing you in to say they interviewed diverse candidates... It's not like they pay for your time that day.
    Apr 15 1
    • Facebook / Eng lkj630
      So true. It's laugh cry funny how these things companies do to 'improve' diversity (i.e. just pr, not actual effort) just end up hurting diverse candidates (i.e. wasting their time).
      Apr 15
  • Google PCBro
    There's nothing to detect, many tech companies are doing diversity interviewing, that's the norm now.
    Apr 15 0
  • Facebook / Eng lkj630
    Ask them about their diversity stats - see how they respond to that question.
    Apr 15 0
  • Amazon jhyuiop
    No advice on how to avoid this but I agree it does happen. I’ve heard hiring managers talk about bringing in a minority for an all day interview. They already know who they’re going to hire but think they’re doing the minority a favor to interview her.
    Apr 24 1
    • Facebook AskingFor
      OP
      They're just wasting their and her time. I wish this would stop. This is even worse than being sexist.
      Apr 28
  • WeWork / Data
    p🥔tato

    WeWork Data

    PRE
    Amazon, eBay
    p🥔tatomore
    Wait aren’t minorities have no less advantages when it comes to hard tech jobs? East and south Asians especially. I’m East Asian and a data analyst too. I don’t get this impression.

    At the end of the day monitory or not it all comes down to how well you can do your job. Ask her to stop worrying about this and just focus on honing on her interview and actual analytical skills.
    Apr 15 1
    • Amazon ehuuS
      Minority as in black/Mexican/women
      Apr 15
  • New eNBa60
    I would have your friend use LinkedIn and try to network with people in her desired company/team. That way you have internal folk to vouch for her. What may happen is there’s roles companies have “open” but really aren’t. They know who they’re giving it to (ex: someone internal) but they put it up to CYA. I know this as my company has done that. It wasn’t a racial/sex thing through.
    Apr 15 0
  • Intel Act2016
    Does she have friends that can spell pouring ?
    Apr 15 0