20 Do’s and Don’t’s for Interviewers
Whether you’re an owner, manager, or employee—that is, anyone involved in communicating with prospective employees—you need to know what you can and cannot ask during the interview process. To help her are 20 questions that are not OK, and what you can ask instead.
Tip: You can’t ask, “How far from the office do you reside?” However, you can ask a related question like, “Can you be at our office by 8 a.m?”
NO: Are you a citizen of the U.S.?
OK: Are you “authorized” to work?
NO: How long have you lived in…?
OK: What is your current phone number and residential address where you can be contacted?
- FIRST LANGUAGE
NO: What is your native tongue?
OK: What languages do you speak fluently?
NO: How tall are you?
OK: Can you reach something on a 5’ shelf?
NO: What do you weigh?
OK: Can you lift a package/product that weighs 50 pounds?
NO: Is this your maiden name?
OK: Have you ever worked or earned a degree under a different name?
NO: What is your religion and what holidays do you celebrate/take off from work?
OK: Are you able to work on our stated schedule?
NO: Do you have or want to have children?
OK: Can you travel for work or work overtime?
NO: How do you feel about supervising men/women?
OK: Tell me about your previous management experience.
NO: How old are you or at what age do you plan to retire?
OK: Are you working age (over 18) and what are you long-term career goals?
NO: How far from the office do you reside?
OK: Can you be at our office by 8 a.m.?
NO: Do you drink alcohol or smoke?
OK: Have you ever been cited for violating a company’s policies re. alcohol or tobacco?
NO: Do you take drugs?
OK: Do you use illegal drugs?
NO: Anything…just don’t go there!
OK: Are you capable of performing the duties/specifics of this job with or without reasonable accommodations?
NO: Have you been arrested?
OK: Have you been convicted of (a specific crime like theft, for example)?
NO: Are you in debt or have you declared bankruptcy?
OK: Nothing. Don’t talk finances except to let them know it is your policy to conduct a credit check.
- MILITARY SERVICE
NO: What kind of discharge did you receive?
OK: What skills did you gain in the military? What was your rank when discharged?
NO: Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
OK: Ask about their driving status ONLY if the job requires driving.
- SOCIAL SECURITY
NO: Do you receive any social security or disability benefits?
OK: We will require your social security number for benefits purposes if you are hired.
NO: Even after hiring: Name/address of relative to be notified in case of emergency.
OK: Name, relationship, address of individual to be contacted in case of emergency
Do your written policies include what’s appropriate and what’s not ok to discuss with prospective employees? Tell us about your policies and how you communicate them by joining the conversation on Facebook here.