What if we lived in a world where anything a person ever thought was said by that person? This would make for a very interesting place to be. Sometimes I think a world with that much forwardness would be a good thing, on the other hand, probably not. Employers interviewing candidates need to take extra precaution at asking those questions that may be riding the line of being unethical and illegal.
Knowing the questions that are acceptable to ask in a job interview is imperative to remaining ethical and legal. This is crucial in avoiding potential lawsuits or accusations of unfair hiring practices. The questions should be solely based on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties sought after and non-discriminatory.
Question’s that refer to marital or family status, religion, and an individual’s sexual orientation should almost always be off limits. These questions are personal and should be avoided for the most part. Strategic interview questions should have a foundation to probe the candidate’s professional abilities in performing the job. As a rule of thumb, stick to exactly those questions to stay in the safe zone.
According to XpertHR a few troublesome questions include:
- “We are hiring because our business is about to become very busy. Do you have any plans that might interfere with your ability to work full time over the next year?”
- “Your name is very exotic; where are you originally from?”
- “This job requires the ability to lift things heavier than 20 pounds. Have you had prior medical problems that would prevent you from being able to do so?”
As you can see, the questions may be backed by good intentions, but they can be interpreted in a different way than intended. There are many of these questions and maybe your company uses them. It would be in the best interest to narrow down that interview question list to avoid any problems.
On the contrary, questions can be re-worded to fit a more ethical standard and not allow for misinterpretation. For example, you may ask where the candidate lives, as this is a legitimate concern if they will have an extensive commute to work. Another common question would be asking if the candidate will be able to meet the attendance requirements. As you can see from the troublesome question example above, minor tweaking can take this question from danger territory to safe waters.
Now more than ever we are seeing many cases of issues in the workplace. You need to be taking the steps to avoid this during the hiring process. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that.” Give us a call or visit our website and ask about how our services will greatly benefit you and keep your business ethical.