Friday, April 5, 2013

Interview Do's and Dont's


INTERVIEW DOS AND DON'TS


Recruiting good employees is a difficult job, and if not done properly, the process can create liability for discrimination claims. Most employers are aware of the blatant discriminatory questions that you are not supposed to ask, but many get in trouble by asking apparently innocent questions in the wrong way. Here are some suggestions for both verbal interviews as well as written job applications:

SUBJECT:
Name:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Why was your name changed?”
“What’s your maiden name?”
“What is the name of your spouse, children, parents?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Have you ever used any other names so that we may conduct the appropriate background checks?”
“If you are a minor, please provide the name and address of your parents or guardian.”


SUBJECT:
Birthplace:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Where were you (your spouse, parents) born?”
“Can you provide a birth certificate or naturalization papers?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Where do you reside?”
“How long have you lived in the city where our company is located?”


SUBJECT:
Residence:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Do you own your own home?”
“Do you rent an apartment?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“What is your address?”
“In what city do you live?”


SUBJECT:
Creed and Religion:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your religious affiliation?”
“What church, parish, synagogue do you attend?”
“Will any of your religious beliefs prevent you from working on certain days?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“ Here are the regular work days and hours for the job position in question as well as a list of holidays which our company observes and any other time-off policies…”

SUBJECT:
Race, Color, Physical Appearance:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your race?”
“What is the color of your skin, eyes, hair, etc.?”
“What is your height, weight?”
“Can you provide us with a photograph along with your application or upon hire?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
Unless there is a bona fide occupational requirement, do not ask these questions.

SUBJECT:
Education:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“When did you receive your degree, diploma?”
“What were the dates of attendance of high school, college, etc.?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Please list the schools you have attended and degrees, diplomas received.”

SUBJECT:
Age:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your date of birth?”
“What is your age?”
“When did you graduate from high school/college?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Employment with our company is subject to verification that you meet the legal age requirement.”
“ If hired, can you furnish proof of age?”
“ Are you over 18 years of age?”
“ If under 18, can you submit a work permit once employed?”
“ If under the age of ___, you may not qualify for participation in our retirement plan.”


SUBJECT:
Citizenship:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Are you or do you intend to become a citizen of the United States ?”
“Can you produce naturalization papers or a green card?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Once hired, can you furnish verification of your legal right to work in the United States ?”

SUBJECT:

Natural Origin & Ancestry:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, parentage, nationality?”
AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Our company has client who speak French/Russian/Spanish. Do you speak that language?”
SUBJECT:
Relatives:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is the name and/or address of a relative we may contact as a reference or in case of an emergency?”
AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“What is the name and/or address of a person we may contact as a reference or in case of an emergency?"
“What are the names and job positions of any relatives that currently work for our company?”


SUBJECT:
Military Experience:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Have you served in any military other than the U.S. Armed Forces?”
“Are you a member of the National Guard or the Reserves?”
“What is your draft classification?”
“Are you eligible for military service?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Do you have any experience in the U.S. Armed Forces? What relevant skills have you acquired?”
“Have you received any notice to report for duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?”


SUBJECT:
Sex, Marital, or Family Status:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your sex?”
“What is your marital status?”
“How many children do you have?”
“Have you made provisions for child care?”
“Are you pregnant, when do you plan on having children?”
“With whom do you live?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Our company pays for medical insurance for employees only. Anyone with dependents may cover those individuals by paying the additional premium cost.”
“Here are the regular work days and hours for the job position in question. Are you able to work at those times on a regular basis?”
“If you are a minor, please provide us with the name and address of a parent or guardian.”


SUBJECT:
Sexual Orientation:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“With whom do you live?”
“What is the relationship between you and your emergency contact person?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“What is the name and/or address of a person we may contact as a reference or in case of an emergency?”

SUBJECT: 
Arrest Record:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Do you have an arrest or conviction record?”
“Do you have any misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana that are more than two years old?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? Have you had any such charges brought against you that were later reduced, dismissed, or not adjudicated due to pre-trial intervention? (YES answers may be relevant if job-related, but do not necessarily bar you from employment).”

SUBJECT:
Mental / Physical Disability or Medical Condition:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“What is your general medical condition?”
“Do you have any physical or mental disabilities?”
“Have you ever filed for workers’ compensation?”

AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job?”
If the applicant voluntarily discloses a disability, you may then ask, “Can you perform the essential functions of this job with reasonable accommodation?”
“Employment with our company will be contingent upon passing a job-related physical exam.”


SUBJECT:
Organizations / Activities:
HOW NOT TO ASK:
“Please list the names of any organizations, clubs, societies to which you belong.”
AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO ASK:
“Please list all the job-related or professional organizations to which you belong. In this list, please omit any organizations whose name would identify you as a member of a protected category.”

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