"So what are you?": Inappropriate interview questions for psychology doctoral and internship applicants

Mike C. Parent, Dana A. Weiser, Andrea MCCourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although psychologists and other professionals have examined biases and discriminatory practices in hiring in many professions, psychologists have not explored their own potential missteps in the interviewing of trainees. The present study sought to investigate whether applicants to psychology doctoral programs and internships were asked inappropriate or illegal questions during their interviews. Data from 303 participants (all of whom interviewed at doctoral programs, 120 of whom interviewed at internship sites) were collected from psychology listservs and from department contacts. Results indicated that nonclinical/counseling/school masters psychology doctoral programs were more likely to ask a potentially inappropriate question than clinical/counseling/school programs and masters programs. Age was unrelated to being asked one's age, although nonheterosexual and non-White participants were more likely to report being asked their sexual orientation or ethnic background, respectively. Finally, qualifications (GPA and GRE scores) were unrelated to being asked an inappropriate question on doctoral interviews, although number of direct client contact hours was negatively related to being asked an inappropriate question on internship interviews. Implications for departmental policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Doctoral program recruitment
  • Internship recruitment
  • Psychology programs
  • Training

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