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Interviews and Unfair Practices

Legal issues

The last thing any company needs is a lawsuit brought against it for unfair hiring practices. The interview process should be an objective one that follows formal guidelines for assessing job candidates’ suitability.

Employment legislation that deals with the hiring process differs from country to country. It’s also important to keep up to date with this legislation, which may change regularly, and to seek the advice of legal professionals if anything is unclear.

The consequences for companies of unfair or illegal interviewing practices can be severe. The main legal issues for interviewers to consider relate to four areas of concern.

Discrimination

You should avoid asking candidates questions that aren’t directly related to whether their skills, qualifications, and experience make them suitable for a particular job.

Other questions to avoid include “Are you physically fit?” “What’s your marital status?” “What’s your birth date?” and “Have you ever been arrested?” Unless they clearly indicate an ability or inability to perform a task. This is so because it’s possible you might use them to exclude certain candidates based on criteria unrelated to a job’s real requirements. Such actions are potentially illegal.

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