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Can cultural matching be a form of racism?

In a Anthropology type class I took at my school, I learned that sometimes employers will find interest in a candidate if they share something with that employer-cultural matching. Since I go to a community college, I've always felt it doesn't look good on my resume because the stigmas behind community colleges. Whenever I've interviewed in a predominately [insert this race] field, I've always felt like I didn't get the job because of the way I look or because of my education background. In addition to this question- what are some good interview tips to get the job? #racism #interviews #interviewing-skills

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★ Scott’s Answer

The idea of fitting into a companies culture has been one of the biggest trend in the job search industry. I would hope that race is not playing a part in their decision making process. The idea of an interview it to change the conversation from interrogation to a conversation. Try to show them how you are a team player and hiring you would make a proper fit into the company.

I also wouldn't worry about your education background. If the position requires a certain degree and you meet that criteria then you should be qualified. I would re-examine your interviewing technique. Study the company, develop good questions, and meet their needs. Study behavioral based interview questions. Think of your accomplishments in past jobs or school. Incorporate that into the discussion. Good Luck.
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Sean’s Answer

I think the education hurdle is real, depending on what position you are trying to get into many companies will not consider candidates that don't have a bachelor's degree. I think there is definitely a "fit" question that is considered as well, which I think varies depending on what you are trying to get into. I think for interviewing tip I would suggest that you spend time and ask questions to try to understand what that culture is and what exactly it is that you are trying to fit into. If you are aware of that then you could provide examples from your own experiences that directly tie into that.
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WKaye’s Answer

Ultimately like others have mentioned it should not come down to racism at all. Searching for a job is a difficult one especially if you are new to the workforce. Try to find one that you will like and find challenging and most importantly make you happy. Take the time and just go through some job listing descriptions and determine how you might like what is being offered. Then as a next step determine if that is a role you would be interested in taking. Then look at the skills required of the role and determine how much of the skills they are asking for you have. You don't necessarily need to have everyone they mention. They typically want a candidate who can fulfill a majority of the experience or skills they have listed.

There are all types of sites and tools you can reference to practice your 'personal pitch' and have your resume reflect the same. Do your homework though on the companies you choose to submit your resume. If you are chosen for the interview ensure that you know enough about the company, their culture and how you fit in.
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Jason’s Answer

Hi Tasha,

I would love to provide my point of view as a hiring manger where I work. First and foremost it is illegal to racially discriminate when it comes to job placement and promotion. This does not necessarily mean that it doesn't happen, simply that ethical companies and employees wont do it. - and lets be real - would you want to to work for an unethical company anyway? I certainly wouldn't and hope all such organizations go the way of the Dodo. In most of the companies I have worked for, HR and management have gone out of their way to be accommodating to minorities of all types. Competent HR professionals understand that diversity in thought and experience make for a more robust and dynamic workforce that benefits the company and those in it. Sitting on the other side of the desk however it can definitely feel otherwise when we don't get the job and are scratching our heads to understand why we were not selected.

When it comes to cultural fit, a person who is demeaning, disrespectful, or dismissive would not be a good cultural fit in my organization or team and that has northing to do with race any other classification. When hiring an individual not only do we need to consider the applicants ability to perform the duties of the job, but also how will they affect the nature of the broader team this is for better or worse. As a hiring manager I may deliberately bring someone in who I believe will shake things up a bit for the betterment of my team. Another point to consider is that most people spend more time with their work colleagues that they do their own families. I don't need my employees to be my best friends but I do need them to be able to work well together and there are some attitudes personalities and beliefs that go together like baking soda and vinegar - for instance, your Department of Fish and Game does not typically hire people from the Sierra Club its simply too problematic.

A few tips to consider to be a more effective applicant:

1. Be on time and be prepared
2. Understand what the company actually does that you are interviewing with - (I'm often surprised by this one)
3. Don't talk too much or too little. Try to establish a balance of 50% or so asking questions to the interviewer as well (see #4)
4. Have thoughtful questions prepared to ask the interviewer - you can learn a lot by the questions you ask and can stand above the crowd by
asking the really good ones
5. Be excited about the role - if you want the job let them know it
6. Don't over think it - ultimately its just a conversation where two parties are trying to get to know one another. Just be someone they want to
know better - you probably already are!

Best of luck to you!
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Heather’s Answer

My recommendation is to research the company before applying. You can often determine what the company's culture is by their mission, vision and values. Most major companies want to have a diverse workforce.

There are some positions which do require a specific amount of education. I would hope it never comes down to the race of a candidate. Ultimately it should come down to are you the best candidate for the job.
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