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Usually, telephone interviews for a job are a really safe bet that you can let your brains and personality shine and not let others' views of your physical self get in the way. However, telephone interviews do not stop discrimination from happening completely. You can still be the victim of discrimination during telephone interviews. Here is how, why, and what to do about it after the fact.
The Interviewer May Have Listened for Accents or Changes in Pitch in Your Voice
You may have thought that the interview was going great. In cases where discrimination still occur, the interviewer was listening/did listen for accents and changes in pitch in your voice. If he/she detected one of these things, or you clearly have an accent, he/she may have discriminated against you by categorizing you as "foreign." If you speak English clearly enough to be understood, there is no reason you should be excluded from the group of applicants for the same job.
Additionally, changes in pitch in your voice are often interpreted by others as signs that someone is part of the LGBTQ community. It is stereotyping, since not all people who have lilting or pitch-changing voices are gay, lesbian, or transgender. Some people just have natural voice changes that have nothing to do with being gay, lesbian, or transgender. Still, to be discriminated against over the phone either way is discrimination, and it is illegal.
The Interviewer May Have Seen Your "Non-White" Name and Stereotyped You
This is definitely a problem. Not all Hispanics and Latinos have dark skin. Not all people with Hispanic- or Latino-sounding names come from Central, Latin or South American countries.
Since many of the surnames in these countries are Spanish in origin, you could actually be a Spanish immigrant or a visiting Spanish exchange student and the other person on the phone may have stereotyped you as some other race or ethnicity. Likewise, names from Asian, Indian, Pakistani, African, African American, or any other "non-white" name should not prevent you from getting work. If the interviewer over the phone gives you any indication that you will not get the job because of your surname, that is discrimination.
What to Do Next
If you believe that you are the victim of discrimination after a telephone interview and being denied for a job for which you are clearly capable of doing, seek out a discrimination attorney. He or she will hear your story and decide if you have a case. If you have a case, you may retain the attorney per a retainer and rates/fees to file a discrimination case.Share