The job interview is a crucial component of the hiring process. Chances are you’ve asked unusual — even eccentric — questions to assess a candidate’s competencies and gauge cultural fit, but have you ever asked something illegal? 1 in 5 employers admits to asking a question during a job interview — only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.
A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,100 hiring and HR managers across the U.S. shows that the boundaries aren’t clear when it comes to what’s OK to ask versus what’s off limits from a legal perspective when it comes to interview questions.
So would questions like these:
• What is your religious affiliation?
• Are you pregnant?
• Are you disabled?
• Do you have children or plan to?
• Are you in debt?
• Do you drink or smoke socially?
What does this mean for you?
As Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, puts it:
“It’s important for both interviewer and interviewee to understand what employers do and don’t have a legal right to ask in a job interview — for both parties’ protection. Though their intentions may be harmless, hiring managers could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk for legal action, as a job candidate could argue that certain questions were used to discriminate against him or her.”
That’s why you should take extra precaution when formulating interview questions to assess whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for your organization.