The problem with interviews

Anyone who has conducted interviews will have met some characters along the way. My strangest experience came when I was in my early twenties. The person I was interviewing mistook my questions for chat up lines.  It’s difficult to concentrate when your candidate is winking at you throughout.


Other interviewers have instead found their questions leading them into the dangerous territory of discrimination.  You can discriminate against someone from the moment you place an advert – asking the wrong thing at interview can cost you thousands.


Bear these in mind next time you are recruiting:

* Never ask for a date of birth on your application form or use age relevant words, such as “young” or “mature” in your adverts.

* A Muslim job applicant at a hair salon was was awarded £4,000 for “hurt feelings” after being asked if she would be prepared to remove her headscarf at work.

* Many working mothers, myself included, have been asked about childcare arrangements at interview.  Set out what hours you need your successful applicant to work and ask every candidate if they have any difficulties with working these times or patterns.

* Never ask a woman about her marriage or family plans.  If your applicant tells you they are pregnant at interview, you could face a hard time proving that this was not why she didn’t get the job.

* If a person has a disability, ask them what “reasonable adjustments” they would need to help them work for your Company.  Here’s a company that should have known better:


I cover much more about how to avoid discrimination and other important topics on my HR Hurdles course.  For upcoming courses and events, please click here.


Best of luck with your recruiting!


Categories Interviews