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Some firms should leave interviewing to agencies – Job candidate left outraged after Jimmy Savile interview question asked

The RAC said that the manager has now been disciplined by the company

A job seeker has been left outraged during an interview after being asked to argue why Jimmy Savile should head a promotional campaign.

Rachel Silver was asked the question during a job interview for a sales advisor role for the RAC at their office in Stretford, Manchester. The interview was conducted by a manager from the company and his assistant.

As part of the interview process she was told the names of three celebrities – Sir Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton and Jimmy Savile – and asked to give reasons why they would be good to headline an RAC promotional campaign.

After giving answers for Alex Ferguson and Lewis Hamilton, she was left reeling in shock when the interviewer told her to argue why Jimmy Savile should be used.

The assistant who was alongside the interviewer said they should not be using Jimmy Savile as an example; however the manager refused to stop.

Rachel said her eventual reply was: “Why would you want him backing the RAC after what he has done?”

The interview then continued, however Rachel said she was left feeling shocked and upset.

The RAC said that the manager has now been disciplined by the company.

She told the M.E.N: “The RAC is a multi-million pound breakdown company. No companies I have had interviews with before have asked me to do that.

“What if I had gone through abuse issues? I have not gone through that, but I do know people who have, anybody else in the interview could have – why haven’t the RAC thought of that?

“I can’t understand why a multi-million pound company, which has had big sponsorship deals with people like Lewis Hamilton, I don’t understand why they would use Jimmy Savile.”

After the interview Rachel wrote a letter of complaint to directors of the company after turning down the job.

The RAC have since responded with an apology and offered to refund Rachel’s travel costs for the interview. The letter added that the Jimmy Savile references have been removed in the interview process.

An RAC spokesman told reporters: “We deeply regret the offence this incident caused.

“The individual concerned has been the subject of a formal disciplinary process.”

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  1. Corporations, the natural home of the terminally thick.

  2. Surely we can leave being “outraged” for oh, I don’t now, liberating concentration camps at the end of WW2 or the things that Jimmy Saville actually did rather than a stupid question asked of you at an interview.

  3. What a good question. It offers the interviewer the opportunity to see if the interviewee is able to cut through hysteria, guilt, emotion etc and make an objective judgement under pressure. Answering about Ferguson and Hamilton is just too easy. Furthermore it was made more difficult by asking the interviewee to identify positive aspects of a character who is perceived as evil. I don’t quite know why this has generated such a tirade of hand wringing hysteria unless the individual had direct contact with Savile.

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