If you don’t interview and hire job candidates year round as the main part of your job, your interview skills and knowledge may be a bit rusty. Just as job candidates need to brush up on interview skills, so does the person conducting the interview.
Interview Questions You Should Never Ask a Job Candidate
In freshening up your interviewing skills, you should note that there are a few questions that are off-limits and you should never ask a job candidate. Some of these questions can imply discrimination, while others are unproductive. Here are 7 interview questions you need to avoid.
1) What year did you graduate high school?
Even if this question crosses your mind for an innocent reason, like you and the candidate share a high school alma mater, it can imply that you are asking how old the person is. This is in violation of age discrimination. Even if that is not why you are asking the question, it can get you and the company into hot water, especially if you don’t end up hiring that candidate and they are over the age of 40.
2) How many kids do you have?
Again, even if this is just an innocent curiosity, it can make the interview uncomfortable because it can imply that you and the company don’t want the candidate to have responsibilities outside of the job. On a related note, you absolutely cannot ask about plans for future children as that violates pregnancy discrimination laws.
3) What did you hate about your last job?
Often times, employers want to find out what a candidate likes or dislikes about a job so they can learn whether or not that will conflict with the daily responsibilities of the open position. However, this type of question can bring up a lot of negativity and can be unproductive to learning whether or not the candidate is a good fit for your company. Instead, you can ask the candidate about what they are looking for in a new job. This is a much more positive question that will bring out the same information, in a much better way.
4) Do you need health insurance?
This is a useless question. Yes, everyone needs health insurance. If the job position you are hiring for does not offer health insurance, simply ask them whether or not that scenario affects their interest in working for your company.
5) What would you do if a giraffe walked through the front door carrying a pinata?
Creative questions have been popping up in recent years, but they often are distracting and unproductive. What does that really have to do with the job? Chances are nothing. Don’t waste time with seemingly creative questions that don’t produce any enlightening information about your interviewee.
6) Where do you attend church?
It is unlawful to discriminate employment based on discrimination. Even if the interview candidate is wearing a religious necklace or pin for you to see, it’s not your business if or where they attend any spiritual service. Plus, if you ask the question and then do not hire the candidate, you can be in trouble for discrimination (even if that wasn’t the reason they did not get hired).
7) Where are you from?
Sometimes, you hear an interesting or attractive accent and want to know where the person is from. Unfortunately, you need to stifle this curiosity as well. Asking where an interview candidate is from, and then not hiring that candidate, can look as though you are discriminating against a specific region or ethnicity. Avoid any trouble by just asking interview questions that are directly related to the job position.
Find the Right Job Candidates
Interviewing job candidates isn’t always a breeze. Follow these tips, and if you need more help polishing your interviewing skills or even finding qualified job candidates, contact Integrity Staffing Services.