Starting interviews on the wrong foot

In addition to my work on surveys, I'm also Chapter Leader of DigitalEve Seattle"http://digitaleveseattle.org/, an association which supports women in technology.

We have an e-mail discussion list, and it's been quite lively the past few days talking about gender assumptions in the workplace. This was started when someone asked how to deal with a job applicant who became defensive when she suggested "Gentlemen" may not be the best salutation in this day and age.

On a similar note, I have a recommendation for anyone conducting telephone or in-person interviews. Train your interviewers to address women as "Ms." instead of "Mrs." unless your list explicitly identifies the marital status of the person being called. You may also spot other places in your scripts or through monitoring where assumptions are being made about your respondents.

After all, why open on an awkward note if you don't need to?

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"After all, why open on an awkward note if you don't need to?"

Great advice Ann, since most people are already looking for a reason to hang up ;)

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