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Old 08-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default job interview-being judged based on looks

I had a job interview today for a cashier position. The first question the interviewer asked me was if I had had a physical recently. A few questions after that he asked if I could lift 50lbs. He asked a few other questions along those lines too. Way to go interviewer! Judging me before you even get to know me a little better.
I'm annoyed and irritated. ugh.
Don't you all hate when someone judges you based on your looks? ugh.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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I don't know if that was looks, I've had two cashier jobs at grocery stories and on the application I filled out it asked if I could lift at least 50lbs.

Regarding the physical I dunno though, never had a job that asked for physical, have had drug tests before though.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:15 PM   #3
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I always thought the 50lb question was pretty standard, and the physical could be because of concerns about future lawsuits or workman's compensation claims (which they would have about ALL workers). I'm sure the tone could factor into if this was just standard interview stuff or if he was acting differently toward you than someone else, though.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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I've been here-where they ask those questions and look you up and down like they don't believe you or just plain look at you up and down in a bad way.

What's worse is when they all of a sudden tell you the position has been filled.

Then you call back (with your voice disguised) and find out it is indeed still open.

One of the reasons why I became self-employed.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #5
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I've never in my life seen an application that didn't have the 50# question, I think TexasTrouble is right and that it might just be a safety net for the employer against silly L&I claims.
I've had to deal with interviewers being shitty about my size, but normally I either try to prove them wrong and show them that I'm a damned good employee to have, or I decide to turn it around and show that they are no longer worth my time, and I politely dismiss myself while casually mentioning how rude it is to judge and how I would never treat another person like that... hilariously enough half of the interviewers that get the latter call back begging for me to work for them!
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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I remember those questions - I would answer... I can pick you up, so im sure I could pick up 50lbs
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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The 50lb question has been included in almost every interview I've ever had so I do realize it's pretty standard. What threw me off and lead me to think he was judging me was from the get go.. the looking me up and down and asking me if I've had a physical. Cashiering can be a physically demanding job with standing and sometimes lifting heavy things but I don't recall any other cashier positions I've interviewed for or worked at ask anything about a physical. Very off putting to say the least.
I've cashiered at several different places and my resume shows that along with the previous employment I listed on the application. Just very aggravating and I needed to vent. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
I got a call back this morning saying he(the interviewer) was taking a different route. LOL So at least he was prompt in his decision. From how the interview went, I don't think I would have accepted a job offer from him though. My energy is better spent finding employment where my size is not an issue at all, rather than trying to prove that I can do the work, when my work history proves that itself. Thanks again
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GlassDaemon View Post
I don't know if that was looks, I've had two cashier jobs at grocery stories and on the application I filled out it asked if I could lift at least 50lbs.

Regarding the physical I dunno though, never had a job that asked for physical, have had drug tests before though.
Yeah ditto to this. All my skinny friends said the they had the same criteria on job applications. It because if you work in a grocery store, for instance, elderly people often can't lift stuff out of the cart after they've put it in, or someone may carry a large pack of beer or something and you need to be able to lift that to scan it, pack it etc.

I mean, he could have been a douche, but its usually what people ask in those positions, no matter how big or small you are.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
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i wouldn't worry about the questions unless you're applying for a job that doesn't actually require someone to be physical. its perfectly legal and appropriate to ask ability based questions that are a requirement for a job. that doesn't have very much to do with looks. if it wre looks only he would have just assumed your health was bad and would not have asked any questions. actual questions that require a yes or no answer are a good thing.

i think that even though i'm fat myself i'd ask a fat or a thin employee those questions because i'd want to be sure they'd be comfortable in those positions. unless you know for sure that the thin people applying aren't being asked i would not jump to any conclusions. even though there are a lot of fat cashiers we all know from posts here how hard a job that requires a lot of standing could be on a heavy person. the thought of painful feet etc.. could cause a person to call off more often than they might ordinarily. if i was worried about turn over and attendance i'd ask. its being realistic about the requirements of the job unless he asked in a nasty or hostile way. what was his attitude toward you when he asked? was he being professional or was he being a jerk?

maybe it might also be a good idea to think about cultivating careers that don't require so much physically anyway. they can protect your health and comfort in the long term even if you are perfectly comfortable now. back and joint damage for a heavy person isn't a joke.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:19 PM   #10
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"unless he asked in a nasty or hostile way. what was his attitude toward you when he asked? was he being professional or was he being a jerk?"
I would just add that it's not that uncommon for an interviewer to come-off as a bit disinterested or stand-offish, promptly cutting-off answers without really seeming like they're listening, not making any sort off eye-contact as they check-things off on a screening-list. Especially if it's an initial screening-type of interview. Other times, bosses/managers will try to throw something at you, try to see if you're a reactive sort of personality, the type that freaks-out in pressure type of situation.

I mean, you want to be responsive to the interviewer, their questions, etc...but not to the point where it's distracting you from the task of selling yourself vis-a-vis what they're asking for. Truthfully, you never really know how the interview's going until you get the job or some honest feedback, which can often be hard to come by.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #11
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I would just add that it's not that uncommon for an interviewer to come-off as a bit disinterested or stand-offish, promptly cutting-off answers without really seeming like they're listening, not making any sort off eye-contact as they check-things off on a screening-list. Especially if it's an initial screening-type of interview. Other times, bosses/managers will try to throw something at you, try to see if you're a reactive sort of personality, the type that freaks-out in pressure type of situation.

I mean, you want to be responsive to the interviewer, their questions, etc...but not to the point where it's distracting you from the task of selling yourself vis-a-vis what they're asking for. Truthfully, you never really know how the interview's going until you get the job or some honest feedback, which can often be hard to come by.
yes, that. you don't want to feel too fat defensive during the interview because you can give off the wrong vibe by accident. you can just seem generally uncooperative. its not a risk you should be taking when you really need a job and you truly don't know whats inthe other person's head.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:48 PM   #12
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Years ago, broke as, living in New Zealand I went for a position within a telecommunications company that I was overly qualified for. I had 3 phone interviews, as the recruitment company was based in another city, the position was local to me tho.
Of course my accent & experience had the recruitment douche all flirty excited, he scheduled the interview and as soon as he saw me & my fatness I knew that look & that it was all over red rover.

Anyway, after receiving a letter in the mail that I was unsuccessful, I decided to push for feedback. Calling everyday for nearly a month, getting the brush off, my partner at the time telling me to give it up etc, me relentlessly leaving messages, to try and find out why I was unsuccessful, knowing all the time was due to my weight, the douche tells me when i finally get a hold of him that it was due to my Australian accent and clarity of my voice lol.

I was so pissed off, that he was gutless as well as a wanker. That I hung up & called the Anti discrimination board & made a complaint.
They took on my case, and after 1.5 hrs in a board room with him & a govt mediator I recieved a nice 2500$ cheque + a non admission of anything kinda apology.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:07 PM   #13
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Those are some standard interview questions...I've gotten those a lot.

Was it the looking you up and down that make you feel you were being judged?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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if your a cashier then why would you have to lift fifty pounds? That's my question.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #15
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if your a cashier then why would you have to lift fifty pounds? That's my question.
A lot of times you get to stock on your down time
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sw33tness3 View Post
I had a job interview today for a cashier position. The first question the interviewer asked me was if I had had a physical recently. A few questions after that he asked if I could lift 50lbs. He asked a few other questions along those lines too. Way to go interviewer! Judging me before you even get to know me a little better.
I'm annoyed and irritated. ugh.
Don't you all hate when someone judges you based on your looks? ugh.

Isn't it illegal to ask of someone's health when applying for a job? I know it is in Canada.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #17
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I know the field I work in I'm asked if I have had a physical lately but that's because I need a medical/physical card to drive the truck. I'm also usually asked if I can lift 75 lbs repeatedly, in case I would need to unload the freight. Most interviewers in that field would like to get a look at you before you're hired to see if you look physically able to do the job so the interviews are usually face to face.
I have answered questions about my health in general since I do disclose that I'm a cancer patient and am still getting chemo as a maintenance measure. I'm pretty sure I'm not required to answer those types of questions about my health but the employer is going to find out sooner or later anyway...
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #18
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Isn't it illegal to ask of someone's health when applying for a job? I know it is in Canada.
I don't know Surly. It's illegal to discriminate because of several things, but it's very hard to prove because the company can and most likely will come up with a variety of legal reasons as to why they didn't hire you.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:24 PM   #19
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I don't know Surly. It's illegal to discriminate because of several things, but it's very hard to prove because the company can and most likely will come up with a variety of legal reasons as to why they didn't hire you.

I guess it would be hard to prove.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #20
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I am a certified Professional in Human Resources and part of the training and exam are what is and isn't legal here in the US when it comes to job interviews. Legally, we cannot ask a potential employee their height and weight unless those have a direct requirement for the job. The burden of proof is on the employer, however, to demonstrate that these are an absolute requirement. And that is very difficult to do. Therefore, most job applications and many interviewers will ask the question, "Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as that is part of the job?"

It is also illegal to ask a job applicant if they are disabled. Again, however, there is a legal alternative and the fifty pound question is part of it. If we have described the duties of the job and provided the candidate with a copy of the job description, we can ask them if they are able to perform the functions of the job with reasonable accommodations.

To my understanding, the physical exam question is illegal. We cannot ask an applicant to complete a medical questionniare as part of the interview process and we cannot ask what the date of their last physical was. We *can* ask them if they are willing to take a physical once an offer has been extended and accepted. Those results are highly confidential under both employment and HIPAA and cannot be a part of the pre-employment decision.

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