When interviewing a candidate, interviewers would want to get as much information as possible in order to ensure that the interviewee can be a good fit for the vacant job. This is particularly important if you’re offering legal and compliance jobs. As the persons being interviewed, we may be eager to reply to any questions imposed on us to look complacent and obliging. However, there are certain interview questions that cannot be asked as these can sound unethical and in some countries are even considered as illegal.
Although some of these questions are obvious some may not be so due to the indirect way that they’re worded. These are the questions to look out for whether you are interviewing or being interviewed.
How much sick leave did you utilise last year?
Although this may be asked with the intent to know whether an employee is constantly missing work, this question indirectly is asking about a candidate’s health which should not be allowed during an interview.
How old are you?
Being asked such a question can mean that age is one of the elements that the employer is factoring in before choosing the right candidate. On that aspect age-related discrimination can be an issue.
When did you graduate?
Again this question may sound harmless, but similar to the previous one it may be age discriminatory to ask for such information. It might be alleged that the interviewer is asking such a question to determine the candidate’s age.
Where do you live?
This question may be asked for the interviewer to understand how close to the office the candidate lives or simply to come up with a subject to converse on. However, in some instances a candidate can be judged based on location of residence due to some areas being considered as up-class and others not as much.
Do you have children or do you plan to have any? Are you pregnant?
This is personal information that should not be asked. Once again this can give rise to discrimination with parents who at times may be perceived as less flexible than others who don’t have children but that in reality might still have other commitments.
How did you get that Scar (or any other appearance related remark)?
Even a friendly remark about someone’s physical appearance should be avoided. Such questions in an interview are considered discriminatory as interviewers may indicate that they’re judging the candidate based on how they look.
There are a lot of questions that the interviewer can use to form on opinion on the candidate in the shortest time possible, however, it is important to avoid asking unethical questions some of which are prohibited by law and might put the company conducting the interviews in a bad light.
In order to avoid such situation it is important to plan out an interview in advance and to keep oneself aware of what types of questions are unnecessary or worse discriminatory.