Interview Question 44 – Do you mind working for someone older than yourself? Younger than you?
in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question 44 – Do you mind working for someone older than yourself? Younger than you?

Advice

This is the sort of question that should not, under any circumstances, be asked during an interview unless framed in a better way than this! If you are asked this question it usually means the interviewer is either trying to pick an argument with you, has serious doubts themselves about whether they can work with you, or are simply completely ignorant about the various bits of legislation regarding discrimination. It is likely that if this question was asked you will probably not want to join the employer asking you as they are likely to have serious issues themselves! However if it is asked and you feel the employer is simply either being ignorant or not really thinking about the question they are asking, the best way to deal with it is simply to be as firm yet as polite as possible.

Examples of Answers

“No. I do not mind working for anyone at managerial level and try to communicate and deal on a daily basis with everyone in the same manner, whether they are old, young, male or female. This is evident by my work at Jones & Co, where my line manager was 15 years younger than me. The work he did was tremendous and he was a very gifted manager.”

Or:

“No, not at all. I am applying for this job as an architect because I believe this suits me at the present time in my career. If there are partners in the firm who are 20 years younger than me this causes me no issues at all. Perhaps they are more suited to that role than I am.”

Or:

“No, not at all. I am at a junior level of my career and will listen to anyone who has good advice for me and who has already worked in the industry for a number of years. I hope to be able to progress myself at some stage but I am always eager to learn and take advice from those who have more experience from me, whether they are male or female.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk