Here are the Interview Questions You CAN’T Ask

A leg brace. An engagement ring. A rainbow lapel pin.

If an experienced HR professional or hiring manager spotted one of these things while interviewing a candidate, they’d never bring it up – for obvious reasons. Asking questions about sensitive issues such as disabilities, marital status or lifestyle choices can spell big trouble, ultimately leading to discrimination or wrongful-discharge lawsuits.

But illegal interview questions aren’t the only type you should avoid. It’s a job-seekers market. If you’re asking anything that falls into the following categories, you’re putting your company at risk – and driving top talent away:

Here are the types of interview questions you should NEVER ask:

  • Questions you already have the answer to.
    What are your current job responsibilities? Do you have any experience with sales? Candidates expect you to have done your homework. If you ask about basic facts that are included on their resume, it sends the message that you’re either ill-prepared or not interested in the person you’re interviewing. In today’s employment market, job seekers have lots of options (and may be entertaining multiple offers). Make sure the questions you ask are insightful and don’t waste candidates’ time.
  • Irrelevant questions.
    What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite season? What three items would you bring to a deserted island? Oddball questions that revolve around personal choices do little to predict how well a candidate will perform on the job – so why bother asking them? While it’s essential to establish rapport at the beginning of an interview, skip the pointless questions. Spend your time asking relevant questions that reveal whether the candidate’s skills, experience and personality align with the job’s core competencies and your organization’s culture.
  • Illegal interview questions.
    Are you a U.S. citizen? Do you plan to have children? Do you smoke or drink? While you may love to have the answers to these questions, you cannot ask them; doing so puts you at risk for a lawsuit. Your best bet? Familiarize yourself with employment policies and practices prohibited by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Then, check your planned interview questions against the EEOC’s guidelines to be sure your questions comply with applicable laws.

Hire better people – quickly, legally and cost-effectively.

Concerned about compliance? Don’t have time for guesswork? PrideStaff’s On Target fulfillment process eliminates chance and inconsistency in hiring, helping you receive better quality candidates, every time.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with your local PrideStaff office today.