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What time-honored job search procedure has the greatest potential for mistakes and mishaps?
The pre-employment interview, of course.
This essential conversation helps companies find the best hires but can cause stress for both the candidates and your team.
If you’re interviewing candidates, you may ask probing questions to help you learn more about them or inquire about their life to help you connect to them on a personal level.
However, if these questions are not related to your open position, you can get yourself into significant legal trouble.
Feeling confused? Follow these four tips to help you conduct interviews that are safe, understand the full breadth of your candidates’ employment experience, and determine if they’re the right hire for you!
Tip #1: DO NOT ASK any questions regarding personal information.
There are extensive federal and state laws, and court opinions, that prohibit not hiring someone on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, age, veteran status, physical handicaps, childcare or disability (including AIDS).
Examples of such questions include, but are not limited to:
- Place of birth
- Birthplace of parents and/or other relatives
- Wife or mother’s maiden name
- Height or weight
- Disability (including AIDS)
- Home renter or owner
- Club memberships
- Military service discharge status
- Automobile ownership
- Arrest record
- Number of children
- Marital status
- Future marriage plans
- Future plans for having children
- Childcare needs/problems
- Employment of spouse
- Future career/job plans of spouse
- Church attendance
- Political party affiliation
Tip #2: Do not ask a candidate for his/her weaknesses.
Instead, give an example of an area in which you are striving to improve and ask the same from the candidates. This can help to draw a connection between you and the candidate, as well as give you a good idea of their self-awareness and willingness to grow and change in the position they’re applying for.
Tip #3: Always ask for real life examples.
Rather than asking a candidate to list their core values, ask them to tell a story that they believe exemplifies them. Continue to probe if the candidate doesn’t give you an example, and don’t be afraid to ask appropriate clarifying questions.
Tip #4: Use situational questions to help determine how your candidate reacts under pressure.
Starting your prompt with “What would you do if…” can help the candidate get in the right mindset to answer your question and give you a better idea about how they respond to conflict without involving your own experience.
Following these simple tips will help you access more relevant information about your candidate than personal questions would, and will lead to productively revealing conversations.
Do you need help with your hiring process? Whether you need assistance with identifying the right people for the right seat, choosing an assessment, conducting reference checks or preparing for Interview Day, we’re the hiring experts who are here to serve you. Contact VisionSpark today to learn how you can Hire with Confidence™!