Activity Description: 50/50

(*This activity may be a bit sensitive, it is advised that it is carried out after the participants get comfortable with each other and trust is built with the trainers)

*This activity is to tackle the narratives in everyday life because we face this situation in almost every country. Narratives matter because they influence the way people think.

Session objectives:

To introduce participants with harmful narratives that could occur on a daily basis (e.g. job interview);

To discuss potential causes and consequences of hate speech and harmful narratives;

To put participants in various roles in order to personally experience discrimination, hate speech and various obstacles in social inclusion that some groups face with on everyday basis;

To explore potential engagement in combating hate speech and harmful narratives in participants’ local communities;

Session description (step-by-step)

A simulation of a job interview environment.

Participants are divided into two types of roles:

Interviewers: there are up to 3 interviewers per interview. They are instructed to take a stereotypical approach towards the candidates and act in line with negative stereotypes and hidden hate speech by behaving in an arrogant manner towards the candidates and ask questions that will make certain roles uncomfortable in their position. Interviewers are advised by the facilitator to hire people who represent the groups not in a situation of vulnerability or disadvantage, regardless of their working experience or fulfilling the criteria for the position.

Candidates: 10 different roles are shared and each participant goes through an interview process. Participants are asked to think about the assigned roles and to think about a position of a person and their everyday life.

Interview starts with the at least 3 general questions for the candidates:

  1. What is your motivation to apply for the position in our company/ organisation?
  2. What kind of work experience you have so far?
  3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  4. What is the level of your education?
  5. Tell us at least one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses.

Depending on the different roles, specific questions are asked in order to show how some people may be discriminated by their appearance or gender.

All participants are in the background observing the interview process and noting down the reactions of interviewers and candidates.

Please look for the questions in Appendices.



“Welcome to this activity, this is an interview simulation and each one of you will be assigned a role, please keep it to yourself and don’t share it with anyone. Each role has its own unique number. Once your number is called, please approach the interview panel.”


Roles are being handed out, participants are asked to close their eyes for a few minutes and get into the role they are assigned.

Facilitator calls out a number and the corresponding person approaches the interview table. The interview begins with the general questions and proceed with the role-specific ones.


Trainers and participants form a circle and feedback/discussion is being formed.

How did you feel during the activity?

What made you feel this way?

How did you see your role?

How did you feel in the shoes of the role you were given?

Did you ever feel that your basic human rights were ignored or violated?

Was difficult for you playing the given role?

What did we find out playing this exercise?

The facilitator brings participants out of their roles and continues debriefing

Do you have a similar experience as it was shown in the simulation?

What are the most common used narratives that follow similar examples in your communities?

What are the causes and consequences for these narratives?

Are these narratives today part of a global mainstream?

How we can raise our voice regarding that?

How youth organizations can contribute to deconstructing harmful narratives?

What will you personally do in your community related to similar examples of hate speech?

Preparations for the session:

Prepare 10 Roles for the candidates.

Based on the Roles, prepare corresponding questions and instructions for the interviewers

List of materials:

Paper cards for roles,

Paper for interview questions


Appendices (if relevant)


(22) Single Mother of 2

4 years of experience

Bachelor’s degree

(40) Pregnant Woman

5 years of experience

Master’s Degree

(99) Disabled Woman

8 Years of Experience


(36) Overweight Woman

5 Years of Experience

Master’s Degree

(88) Transgender Woman

6 Years of Experience

Bachelor’s Degree

(49) Attractive Woman

1 Year of Experience

Bachelor’s Degree

(13) Single Man

6 months of Experience

undergraduate/still studying

(18) Married, Father

15 Years of Experience

high school diploma

(5) Man, skin colour other than white

2 Years of Experience

Master’s Degree

(77) Overweight Man

3 Years of Experience

Bachelor’s Degree


(22) We will need your full attention for this job, can you handle it?

Are you able to work after hours if necessary?

(40) In how many months do you give birth? Do you plan to have more children in the future? What does your husband think about his wife working instead of taking care of his children?

(99) This job is in a fast-paced environment and requires a lot of errands, running up and down the stairs do you think you can handle it?

(36) Our office is located on the 8th floor, we don’t have an elevator, is this a problem for you?

Are you comfortable in high-heels?

8) Would you be okay using the men’s bathroom?

Are you a cross-dresser? Why did you decide to change sex? Have you ever had Psychological Issues?

(49) You will be required to oblige to a certain dress code how would you response to that? Are you available to join business dinners with our clients? Have you ever done PR work?

(13) Why are you interested in this job position? Do you have some hobbies, such as playing golf? Your family name is well known, we understand you have good connections in this city?

(18) This job listing has prospects for a higher position but you would have to work extra hours, is that okay? If necessary would you be okay to work on a Sunday?

(5) Was it difficult to obtain a diploma from this University, considering your origin? Were you part of some affirmative action programme? How is it to be unique in your own community as it is well known people like you don’t usually end up with a University diploma?

(77) We don’t have an elevator in this facility is this okay for you?

This job may demand some PR work where you need to interact with people, however you need to fit some standards. Would you be willing to lose some weight?