'Shocked' candidate told headscarf 'not permitted' during interview

'Shocked' candidate told headscarf 'not permitted' during interview

A candidate looking to launch a career in the skies, was told that she would have to remove her headscarf in order to take the role.

Aye Alhassani, had already successfully completed the group interviews at Scandinavian airline SAS, and was duly invited to a one-on-one interview – The Local reports.

However, Alhassani was informed that SAS has a policy which bans the wearing of religious symbols.

"At first they were cautious and I don't think the interviewer wanted to be straight about it. But eventually it was clarified that it's not permitted to wear a headscarf according to their policy. I was quite shocked," Alhassani told the publication.

The issue here didn’t seem to be that the company operated that rule, but rather that the candidate was not told about it in time. In recruitment, candidates should be told of all prerequisites and stipulations of the role in question – and not be left to learn of regulations too far on into the interview process.

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“It would've been better to get that information early in the process,” added Alhassani, “because I could've then looked for other jobs and not prioritized the SAS job over others and let them go.”

Candidates wearing a headscarf have a lower chance of getting a job in Germany than those without, a study from the Institute for the Study of Labor – located in Germany - has found.

The researchers sent out 1,500 applications for office roles such as secretaries and accountants. Two fictional female characters were created - Meryem Öztürk and Sandra Bauer – with identical CVs. Öztürk has two CVs with the only difference being the accompanying picture either had a headscarf or not.

Firstly, the researchers wanted to find out if having a Muslim name would affect job chances: there was no significant difference (Bauer had an 18% success rate compared to Öztürk’s 13.5%). 

However, when both Öztürk CVs were sent out, the CV containing the headshot with the headscarf had a one in 24 success rate. This was four times less than the other identical CV without a headshot.

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