Different employers are bound to follow different recruitment strategies. Depending on the nature of the business, an interview may come off more as a friendly conversation than a stern interrogation. Of course, no interview should seem like an interrogation. However, it’s understandable that some companies may have stricter rules to follow than others.
When it comes to interview questions, however, all companies – no matter the industry – must follow an all-important golden rule. And that is to not ask questions that discriminate against the candidate. We’re talking about questions that imply a concern about an individual’s gender, religion, nationality. You should also not ask questions about one’s marital status, age or nationality.
Let’s take a look at few specific questions that should be axed (not asked) during job interviews.
Do you have any children?
Are you planning to have children?
What are your arrangements for childcare?
Such questions may imply that parents are less desirable members of a workforce. However, these questions also imply gender discrimination as they are rarely ever asked of male job applicants. It is unacceptable to ask questions that convey a potential issue with a person’s gender. As Monster.com explains, “sex is a federally protected class, which means an employer cannot discriminate against a male or female job applicant.”
If, however, you have a concern about whether or not an applicant can physically handle the duties of the job, it’s important to make that clear in your line of questioning. Replace questions such as “Can you get a babysitter on short notice for overtime or travel?” with “This job requires five days of travel per month. Do you have any restrictions that would prevent you from doing that?”
What religion do you practice?
Which religious holidays do you observe?
Do you belong to a particular club or social organization?
CompareBusinessProducts.com lists these religious-based questions as ones that should be omitted from all job interviews. As the site explains, “you may want to know about religious practices to find out about weekend work schedules, but it’s imperative that you refrain from asking directly about a candidate’s beliefs. Instead, just ask directly when they’re able to work, and there will be no confusion.”
Naturally, you may be concerned about an applicant’s availability to perform his/her job. Replace the above listed questions with such queries as “What days are you available to work?” and “Are you able to work with our required schedule?” It’s fair for you to be adamant about your employees adhering to their work schedules. It is unfair for you to base your hiring decisions, however, on one’s religious beliefs.
What country are you from?
What is your native tongue?
How long have you lived in Canada?
Sure, these questions may seem like the most innocent among the bunch. They can even be excused as “small talk”. However, one’s nationality should not come into play when making a hiring decision. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that a new hire is fluent in English – especially if the job requires regular interactions with customers.
But as CompareBusinessProducts.com points out, “you may offend applicants that are sensitive to common assumptions about their language.” Substitute the above listed questions with queries such as “What languages do you read, speak or write fluently?” and “Are you authorized to work in Canada?”
For more expert advice about the right and wrong questions to ask during your job interviews, give Hire Value Inc. a call at 403-978-3827 today!