Ms. X is invited to an interview for a position as a research assistant at a university. She sits with a selection committee of seven people around a table that is too small for the group. The equal opportunities officer is not part of the group at the table. She is seated two meters away from the table, almost behind Ms. X but somewhat to the side of her.
A professor introduces the members of the selection committee. He forgets to introduce the equal opportunities officer. He notices his mistake shortly after and belatedly introduces the equal opportunities officer to Ms. X. This raises a laugh which resolves the tense and awkward atmosphere. The equal opportunities officer is introduced – as a laughing matter. During the interview, Ms. X has to turn around and face away from the selection committee if she wants to look at the equal opportunities officer.
In a job interview, both sides, candidate and institution, introduce themselves. When Ms. X receives a rejection, she is very relieved.
The power order unfolding scenically during the interview – a chair, a closed circle, and an equal opportunities officer in a blind spot – was shameful.