There are a handful of reasons why a business chooses one candidate over another; be sure that those reasons don’t involve discrimination and avoid any interview topics related to them.
It is unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status or genetic history. This means you need to avoid certain interview topics. Here are a couple of tricky interview topics to avoid…
Be very careful how you use information related to a candidates age, such as their year of graduation. This could be considered age discrimination if you use it as a hiring decision.
If the job requires a high school diploma, simply ask whether the candidate graduated from high school. If the job requires the candidate to be 21 years or older, tell the candidate that the job requires someone at or over the age of 21, and ask if they can meet that expectation.
Never ask a candidate if they have ever been injured on the job before. Business owners may want to ask this question because they are concerned about workplace safety or their own workers compensation premiums, but asking about previous injuries is illegal.
You can stress the importance of workplace safety during the interview. You can discuss your own work place safety program and ask the candidate why safety is important to them. You can also outline the physical requirements of the job and then ask the candidate if they are able meet those requirements.
Marital and Family Status
An employer cannot use information about marital status, family status, pregnancy or intent to have children as a hiring decision. Therefore, it is not recommended to discuss any of these in an interview.
If you are concerned about a candidate’s ability to make it to work on time due to their busy personal lives, simply state the work location, start and end times of the job and have the candidate confirm whether they can meet the job schedule requirements.