Employers – know your limits at interviews

Annette Lewis | Employers, News and Events

Employment laws have been causing headaches for recruiters recently with strict rules on what can and can’t be asked at job interviews. InterviewGold reported in an earlier article that over half of jobseekers would lie on their CVs and in job applications in order to land a job interview. Therefore it is understandable that interviewers are becoming tougher in interviews. But where do you draw the line, and how much are you allowed to ask without getting into trouble?

Job interviews are used to establish if the application form is accurate but it is also an opportunity to find out more about a persons character and try to build a rapport. However interviewers have to be careful that general conversation about a person’s interests outside of the workplace does not stray into areas that could lead to discrimination claims. For example female applicants can’t be asked about their children or whether they are pregnant. Other major subjects to avoid are religion, beliefs and sexual orientation.

Whilst some of these are totally unnecessary and there should be no reason to ask for this information, other subjects such as childcare plans for example are more difficult to avoid.

Lord Alan Sugar recently waded into the debate on how effective these laws really are, saying they can be ‘counterproductive’ as childcare arrangements is a big issue for mothers but not one that should jeopardise their chances. If a mother has considered arrangements it actually shows forward planning and commitment. Therefore interviewees can actually improve their chances by being upfront and discussing the situation.

He commented: “I would be very impressed by a person who settled the matter at the outset, telling me how they are going to organise their life in order to do their job but, more importantly, how they are going to get on with the job in hand, what they are going to bring to the party. Such people would jump up in my estimation.”

Joe McDermott, CEO of RecruitSure also commented on the strict employment laws “It is so easy for an interviewer to ask an illegal interview question. The risk of this could be a legal challenge by the candidate if they believe they have been discriminated against. This could result in significant financial loss for the employer.”

RecruitSure was set up with these issues in mind and is an ideal tool for employers. It helps recruiters avoid these risks by ensuring that the interview process is lawful at all times. It is an easy to use online system that gives managers everything they need to select, recruit and interview job applicants, effectively and lawfully. Get a free trial now.