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Questions not to ask in interviews

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HomeManagementRecruitmentQuestions not to ask in interviews

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Below is a series of questions to avoid asking candidates during the interview process. Whilst most of these are obvious, it is worth thinking your approach through prior to any interview to ensure that you do not innocently tread onto dangerous ground.

Hiring Process - Identifying Talent

  • What is your maiden name?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • What is your age, or date of birth?
  • Any questions which tend to identify an applicant’s age as over 40
  • Birthplace of applicant or of applicant’s parents, spouse or other relative.
  • Questions as to race, nationality, lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, or parentage
  • Any questions which indicate the applicant’s marital status
  • What is your first language?
  • Questions about the candidates children
  • Questions regarding childcare
  • Questions regarding pregnancy
  • Questions as to applicant’s looks, height and/or weight
  • Questions regarding an applicant’s general medical condition, state of health, or illness
  • Have you ever made a worker’s compensation claim?
  • Questions regarding receipt of worker’s compensation benefits
  • Questions relating to potential service in a foreign military, such as Singapore, or Israel
  • Questions regarding applicant’s current or past financial assets
  • Questions regarding length of residence at a particular address.
  • Requiring a list of all organisations, societies, etc
  • Are your parents healthy?
  • Do you have any physical or mental disability/handicap that will require reasonable accommodation?
  • Have you ever had a drink problem?
  • Is anyone in your family disabled?
  • Questions regarding religious obligations
  • Questions seeking the names and addresses of relatives (as opposed to persons) to be notified in case of accident or emergency
  • Asking a female candidate whether she has any reason to believe she might require any leave for medical reasons during the next calendar year
  • Mentioning age in relation to performance
  • Are you healthy?
  • Have you ever taken a leave of absence for health reasons?
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