A recent nationwide study by Career Builder of over 2,100 hiring and human resource mangers has found that 1 in 5 employers have unknowingly asked illegal interview questions. The art of interviewing is a skill that must be carefully practiced and planned accordingly. Conducting a successful, legal interview is not done by accident.

Employers and employees alike often share the same amout of stress and worring about interview questions. Many questions are readily known to be illegal to ask during an interview, but there is also a lot of grey area. It is important that both parites know the legalilty of the qeusionts and answers for both of their protection. Unkonwingly, many hiring managers have found themselves at risk for legal action because of the type of question asked of the potiential new hire. Discrimination claims based on interview questions is all too common.

Of those surveyed, at least one third of employers didn’t know that the following examples of questions were illegal to ask:

What is your religious affiliation?
Are you pregnant?
What is your race, color or ethnicity?
Are you married?
Are you in debt?

This list is questions is by no means a full representation of illegal questions that should not be asked during an interview. Often, the structure of a questions is what determines the legality of the quesigon.

For example, asking a potential employee the question “where do you live” could produce such an answer that could lead to a discrimination claim based on location,  which is illegal. A better way to construct the questions would be by asking if they are willing to relocate?

There are also questions that may seem completely off topic at first, but can be a valuable resource to use. Such questions can be aseked to gain insight into the level of understanding of problem solving skills, team building, strengths and weaknesses of the potential new hire etc.

For example, if you wanted to know about the values and interests of a potential new hire to guage the cultural fit you could ask the following question. “If you did not have to work, what would you do?”

Interviewing should be approached with precision, control and a focus on generating appropriate questions that are based on the description of the job that is being hired for. For help in generating hiring questions, please contact your ProSential Broker.

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