10 Common Interview Questions To Avoid

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A new study by Hyper Recruitment Solutions found that out of the 1,000 hiring managers questioned, more than half admitted to asking inappropriate and personal questions to the candidates they were interviewing. The study also asked 1,000 interviewees about their experiences at interviews and found that 1 in 5 felt they were mistreated during an interview.

Interviewers must be careful about the questions that they ask, as unsuccessful candidates can perceive that their answers to these questions played a role in your decision not to offer them the position. For example; if an interviewer asks a BAME candidate where they were born, it could look to the candidate that the interviewer does not want to hire those who were not born in this country. This could lead to a discrimination claim. Therefore, during an interview, questions relating to a candidates personal life, including their religion, birthplace or sexual orientation should be avoided.

The Equality Act 2010 protects applicants from discrimination during the recruitment process. Those who suspect discrimination has occurred may look to make a claim in the employment tribunal. Applicants should be assessed purely on their ability, and their suitability for the role advertised.

Most common inappropriate questions hiring managers admitted to asking candidates during interviews and the ones that you should avoid:

  1. When were you born?
  2. Do you have children? 
  3. Are you physically fit and healthy? 
  4. Are you in a relationship or married? 
  5. Have you got plans to start a family? 
  6. Where is your accent from? 
  7. Will you need flexible time for family life? 
  8. Did you grow up outside of the UK? 
  9. Will you need time off during half term? 
  10. Will you need personal time off for religious holidays?

You can also discriminate in the way you advertise the role; such as choosing to only advertise in a male magazine. There are exceptions to the rule, for example, if the role requires a male (such as an actor for a male role) then that is not discrimination.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly due to discrimination in the workplace whether as a candidate or a worker, it is vital that you seek legal advice.

We are often approached by employees who feel they are being treated unfairly, or who are concerned about their position at work. Through our knowledge of employment law and understanding of tactics used in employment disputes we can advise you on the best way to proceed with you situation. Before we give advice we make sure we listen carefully and understand your situation. 

Yunus Lunat heads up our Employment Law Department and brings more than 15 years' experience to Ison Harrison. Call 0113 284 5023 or alternatively email yunus.lunat@isonharrison.co.uk to book a free initial consultation.

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