Last week I was talking with a friend about the recent job interviews she has had. I was shocked at the questions she was asked and comments that were made to her during her interviews with attorneys. Because apparently even attorneys need guidance on appropriate interview questions and techniques, I have a few reminders listed below:
· Consider candidates based solely on their qualifications for the job.
· Do not make any statements that would cause an applicant to believe he/she is guaranteed a job or will have permanent employment.
· When asking questions avoid the following as it may be viewed that you are making decisions based on discriminatory criteria. Do not make comments regarding the same as well.
– Marital status: What is your marital status? Are you married? What does your husband/wife do?
– Age: How old are you? When did you graduate from high school?
– Disability: Are you disabled? Have you ever filed worker’s comp claim? Will you take a physical exam before we offer you a job? If the disability is apparent you may ask whether the applicant will need a reasonable accommodation and what accommodation is needed.
– Religion: What’s your religion? What church do you attend? What religious holidays do you observe? Does your religion prohibit your working on Saturdays? Are there any holidays on which you cannot work?
– Gender/Sex: Are you pregnant? What are your family plans? How many children do you have? What will you do with your kids while you’re at work?
– National Original/Race: Where were you born? Are you a US Citizen? What languages do you speak (if not a job requirement)
– Financial Condition: Have your wages ever been attached? Have you declared bankruptcy? Do you own or rent? These questions are not permissible unless directly relevant to the applicant’s suitability for the position.
– Avoid personal questions as they may be seen as relating to sex, religion, ethnicity or other prohibited areas.
If in doubt, if it’s not job related, don’t ask! You are trying to find the best candidate for the job and the best candidate for the job is the one who can complete the job related functions.