Posts Tagged ‘interviews’

The Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in an Interview

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

interview questionsInterviewing candidates can be an enjoyable and sometimes stressful endeavor. This interview or interviews may be the only chance you get to ask all that you want to know about a candidate before you make a hiring decision.

You don’t want to forget to ask something and you do want to ask all of the right things. This could sound alarming to you, or maybe you love interviewing candidates and that is one of the reasons you decided to go into HR. No matter what your view is on interviewing, one thing you don’t want to do is ask questions that could get you and your company into trouble.

That’s right, trouble. There are interview questions that are illegal.  According to a recent survey from*, one in five employers has unknowingly asked a job candidate an illegal interview question. The legality of these questions ultimately protects both parties involved. For you and your future candidates’ protection, take a look at this list of illegal interview questions:

  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What is your political affiliation?
  • What is your race, color or ethnicity?
  • How old are you?
  • Are you disabled?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children or plan to?
  • Are you in debt?
  • Do you socially drink or smoke?
  • When do you plan to retire?
  • Where do you live?
  • What was the nature of your military discharge?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?

You may find that you have asked some of these questions before, or that you need to know these things to make your hiring decisions. You may have wanted to know if someone was ok with relocating so you asked her where she lives. To make sure you are protected, ask her instead flat out if she is willing to relocate. Or ask a candidate where he sees himself in fifteen years instead of when he is planning on retiring.

Think through interview questions before asking them, and make sure you aren’t breaking any laws!

For more information of the legalities of interviews and interview questions, contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.


Photo Source: COD Newsroom

Better Performance Management Starts with Better Hiring Decisions

Monday, July 12th, 2010

When people ask for guidance on designing their performance management programs, the main area of focus is invariably the employee evaluation process.  The question that seems to be on most people’s minds is, “What is the best way to design an effective evaluation form?”    While it is important to have an effective measurement instrument with which to evaluate your employees’ performance, it is only one part of a system for ensuring your organization hires, trains and keeps the best employees possible.  We should also spend time examining the hiring and selection process.

Hiring decisions are, in effect, problems.  By this, I mean you are making a decision with limited information involving doubt or uncertainty.  The best way to make a decision is to limit the amount of uncertainty involved in the process.  Through the use of applications, résumés, recommendations and interviews, you are hoping to decrease the uncertainty in the process and increase the probability that the choice you make will be the correct one.

However, we frequently make mistakes.  It is possible that we pass on a good applicant or hire a bad one.  These mistakes are bound to happen; we are not perfect.  A way to reduce the chance of error is to make a better system for collecting information for the hiring process—not just from the traditional means mentioned previously.

What may be the most important part of the entire performance management process is what can best be described as the control mechanism for the system.  Every organization has control systems that measure such things as defects, scarp, employee attendance, etc.   How many organizations have instituted a means to measure the effectiveness of their performance management systems?

When employees leave, some organizations do employee exit surveys.  But, how does that information serve the organization?  You know why they left, but how does that information help you improve the process?

Ideally, you would want to know information that would help you make better hiring decisions in the future.  Use turnover as a chance to collect information and diagnose where mistakes were made in the process.

When conducting the “autopsy” after an employee leaves the organization, some things to consider are:

  • Do you have a true understanding of what the job entails?
  • Are the job requirements— the knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job effectively—accurate?
  • Can you identify the mismatch between the applicant and the job?
  • Do we have the right people involved in the hiring process and making the final decisions?
  • What information may have led you to hiring that person in the first place?  Do we have any organizational biases in the hiring process?  (Educational level, for instance)

Effective managers and supervisors recognize that failure oftentimes can be useful in helping improve performance.  Use the information you collect from your “failures” to improve your hiring process.  Continuous improvement relies heavily on feedback, and this should apply to your hiring process as well.

Photo Source: J Wynia