What to do if your candidature is being rejected on the basis of ethnicity, religion, color in an interview?

If you know your interview went well still you get rejected by an interviewer and reason for rejection is something which is not correct.

I am located in India. The reason I believe I am being discriminated against is that 80% of my telephone discussion gets very positive feedback and 80% face to face interviews get rejected, though good looking and dressed formal and ethical.

What to do if we find situation like above?


Two feedbacks, which I got after the interview: first one was I am not good in programming though I had written all the programs he had asked for and I know I am good at writing programs and to this guy I told I have good reputation on Stack Overflow and he asked me what is my reputation on SO... I just smiled and later he told me that...

The other feedback I got from one another reputed interview person: he said I am not good in configurations though the job is for purely programming... He was expecting exact syntax of the configurations and I explained him how we configure the things..

Both the above interviews are from the level 5 companies and have more than 15k employees...

  • 15
    Writing the programs that you are asked to write does not mean you are good at programming. There are ways to write functional but bad (for someone's standard anyways) code. I would not use SO reputation as a negotiation tactic in an interview especially after someone has already told you they did not like your coding style. I am not sure what you are referring to when you say "configurations" in your second point. FWIW, telephone interviews are usually not overly technical so they are easier to get through. You could try taking their feedback to heart.
    – Catsunami
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 17:44
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    How many interviews have you been to? You might be having a bit of confirmation bias here. Also, do not attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. I can tell you for sure that plenty of people who interview candidates are themselves clueless outside of the daily work they do. So there is a possibility that they just don't know what you bring to the table. I have also worked with plenty of Muslims in the Indian IT industry, some of whom have mentored me. While I am certain the bias against Muslims is non-zero, it is not that huge, at least in IT.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 17:45
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    @InterviewFeedback, we have never given specific coding feedback in the interviews I've been in. This isn't code review. If someone does not like your programming style, you move on, learn from it and try applying somewhere else. Yes the interviewer might be clueless, but you are saying you have interviews for over an hour so they might at least know something. In your comments here you haven't been the most clear and you seem to be quite set on what you believe is the issue. If you behave the same in an interview, people might not find you to be a good fit for their team.
    – Catsunami
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 18:48
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    @AdrianoRepetti In many cases, you don't have to ask the question to have a pretty good idea of somebody's religion. Consider a cross, a skull cap, a turban, ... Sometimes you'll get it wrong but if you are looking to discriminate, then... Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 19:03
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    I must tell my reaction after I read your question and comments. If I were the interviewer, I would not hire you regardless your ethnicity, religion, color, but because of your attitude.
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 4:24

3 Answers 3


To answer the question as asked:

If you are being rejected from a job on the basis on characteristics on which it is illegal to discriminate in that jursidiction, you have two choices:

  1. Move on to the next opportunity.
  2. Get a lawyer and sue.

Note that neither of these will get you that specific job. Suing might get you some money, but it could also cost you a lot of money as well. Not only do you need to be absolutely sure that you are being discriminated against, you need to be absolutely sure that you can prove in court that you are being discriminated against. Two job interviews where you disagree with the interviewer's reasoning certainly isn't going to convince a court.

For what it's worth, a bunch of the stuff you're saying here, both in questions and the comments would act as red flags to me if I were interviewing you. In particular:

  • I don't care about how many fake Internet points you have on Stack Overflow. If that's your strongest argument for why I should hire you, you're not a great candidate (and if it's not your strongest argument, don't mention it in your introduction).
  • No job, at least above entry level, is "purely programming".
  • 1
    Perhaps he is applying for entry level jobs. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 10:32
  • Given the country mentioned I could see a tightly controlled by the customer outsourcing contract having positions requiring mid/senior level skills but keeping all non-dev tasks either at the company making the purchase or with local management. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 11:03

You can be an excellent candidate and still not get the job - for example, if you are the second best out of 100 candidates. Has happened to me. Company was very nice about it, they told me they would have made an offer if that other guy hadn't turned up.

So thinking you did well in the interview isn't enough. There are plenty of people who think they are good but they are not, others are good, but not that good. And hiring the wrong candidate is expensive, so many follow the rule "when in doubt, don't hire".

Did you notice how ethnicity, religion, race didn't come into it? Your only reason to suspect illegal discrimination is that you feel you should have got the job. That's there little to go on. If you have real evidence, and lots of money that you can risk, you can go to court.


You are overly confident, that's why you are thinking that you should get the offer, preparation matters a lot.

The reason I believe I am being discriminated against is that 80% of my telephone discussion gets very positive feedback and 80% face to face interviews get rejected, though good looking and dressed formal and ethical.

This isn't the correct reason actually, because telephonic interviews are just for the initial round where less technical people would be involved to verify whether you are the correct person to go for next, so you were able to clear it easily.

Coming to your question if you really think you are being discriminated then you can do either of two things.

  1. Take it easy and move on, lots of opportunities out there in the industry.

  2. Thanks to the HR for his feedback come back home, then write up an email to the HR with the strong facts on the basis of which you feel you got a biased feedback and ask her to politely re-schedule the interview.

by writing an email you get either of two things:

  1. You are giving a feedback of interviewer to HR so that next time they will monitor his feedback.
  2. Or you will get another chance for the interview.

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