Review of Testing Circle

A first-hand account of discrimination

The purpose of this page is to give a review of my experience with 'Testing Circle'.

Testing Circle is a small IT recruitment company headquartered in London, England. In 2014, I stumbled across an advertisement for a graduate role. I felt happy that it didn't require a subject-specific degree (despite having one), free training would be provided and I would greatly flourish in this role. Bear in mind that I was going through a tough spell; in terms of my health, family and financial situation. I knew that landing this job would alleviate this troublesome spell. Thus, I seized the opportunity by applying for it.

The company invited me for an assessment day. They said my speech impediment (which I disclosed) would not make me less valuable, indicating they would be willing to hire someone with such an impediment. Admittedly, I did not feel confident I would probably land the job due to issues I was facing plus the increasingly difficult competition. Nevertheless, this opportunity was not worth ignoring, so accepted the invitation.

The morning of the assessment day. I felt stomach pains as well as negative thoughts about how the day would fare. I felt depressed about my life in general and over the improbability of securing the job. I knew what it was like to endure rejection and didn't want to experience it again. My desire for success did not preclude me from attending. I was under a lot of pressure to perform well, knowing my personal problems would curtail, should I land the job. In hindsight, the wisest thing I should have done was rearrange the appointment.

Having punctually reached the venue, a number of events were scheduled. Some of which included a presentation and interview. When I began the presentation, my speech was worse than normal, owing to my lack of wellness. I felt embarrassed and awkward, which exacerbated my speech. Their body language suggested they weren't pleased with my performance. I felt they disliked me and perceived me as a joke. Afterwards, I was relieved it was finally over. I couldn't believe how uneasy I felt during the ordeal and how they reacted.

The interview was next. At this point, I felt mentally despondent but realised there was light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I might be able to change the interviewers' initial perceptions of me by flourishing in the interview. Two people conducted the interview. Sadly, it was even worse. They made disapproving gestures indicative of their dissatisfaction of me (i.e. folded arms, glazed expressions, etc). Such feelings aggravated my concentration, speech and ability to quickly think of good answers to their questions. When the interview was over, the assessment day came to a close. My embarrassment was stretched to the breaking point. What I gathered the most was a negative perception they had of me. How they perceived me indicated they didn't want to pursue my application given my speech.

A few days later, my application was declined. I was keen to hear constructive feedback and was told they would give this according to their policy, but weeks followed without a response despite chasing them up. Their failure to offer feedback despite assuring they would, contradicting their own policy and reactions to me during the assessment day is best explained by the notion that they discriminated against me, due to my speech. This is not what I wanted to subjectively believe. I wanted to believe I was unsuccessful for any other reason apart from that. However, I couldn't rationally accept any other conclusion apart from the one which was the most hurtful and disappointing.

Why have I written this review? For a number of reasons.

  1. I don't want people to experience what I went through, particularly those from specific groups. Not only does it leave you unwanted, damages your confidence and hurts you, but also, it is objectively morally wrong. Those who have done it should not escape detection. By raising awareness and disapproving of what happened, folks will be more conscious of it during recruitment, in particular the company itself, making it is less likely history will repeat itself.

  2. Discrimination is sadly still a problem today, especially against specific groups i.e. ethnic minorities, genders, racial groups, etc. Academic research concurs with this fact and demonstrates that certain groups are more likely to suffer unemployment, unfair salaries, bullying, etc. than other groups. Such groups are also more likely to face cyber discrimination by employees who would never make such comments during their working hours. This can have huge implications for people. For instance, one's entire career path could depend on whether discrimination transpired during the recruitment process, impacting future financial stability and one's quality of life. Cognising such ripple effects discrimination can cause is hugely important.

  3. People shouldn't assume that discrimination will never happen to them. We live in an world crying for justice given most wrongs are not detected and most detected wrongs are not punished. However emotionally difficult it is to believe it, if the evidence suggests it occurred, one should accept it. If there is no evidence for and against it, one should remain neutral rather than opine an optimistic view.

Testing Circle will not want to believe discrimination occurred given their business objectives to flourish and beat the competition. Also, it doesn't feel good to hold a negative view, especially if specific stakeholders lack proof. However, this is not an intellectual reason to reject the undesirable conclusion I have made. I myself do not want to believe this, but truth hurts.


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