Interview Questions To Avoid March 1st, 2008
Most managers have a list of questions they prepare for those interviewing for positions at a corporation. However, there’s also a list of questions that interviewers cannot ask of potential employees, according to AllBusiness.com.
1. “How old are you?” and other age-related questions. State and federal laws prevent discrimination against people over 40. For this reason, you shouldn’t ask any question designed to discover directly or indirectly a person’s age.
2. “What is your religious background?” Even if a prospective employee volunteers this information, don’t engage in conversation about religion. Just move on.
3. “Do you have a disability?” Never ask this question. While physical capabilities may be directly relevant to job performance in certain types of jobs, you must never use the word “disabled” or “handicapped” in a job interview. Ask whether the individual is capable of performing particular job duties. You should also avoid questions about medical history or whether an applicant has previously received workers’ compensation. These questions are regarded as potential surrogates for inquiries about disability status.
4. “Are you planning to have children?” You are not entitled to discriminate against someone based on whether the person has or will have children. You can ask about a potential employee’s capacity and willingness to travel or work overtime, however, if those issues are legitimately job-related.
5. “Are you married?” While this is a friendly question and may naturally come up in conversation, marital status is a protected category under federal and state employment laws.
6. “What’s your maiden name?” Because surnames often reveal ethnicity, this question could be perceived as potentially discriminatory. The same is true of the question “Are you an American citizen?” even though the employee would have to furnish proof of citizenship upon being hired. You can ask whether this candidate could provide proof of the right to work in the U.S. instead.
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