During the hiring and selection phases of the employment process, interviews are conducted. This is one of the primary methods by which companies analyze and evaluate candidates for employment. What questions an employer can and cannot ask during an interview is governed by federal and state legislation.
Most laws prohibit using an interview question as the foundation for a biased judgment.
Discrimination in the workplace is forbidden at all times, but especially during interviews.
Employers are not permitted to discriminate against employees on the basis of their race, age, religion, political affiliation, sex, or any other characteristics. They must therefore exercise caution when conducting interviews.
Which Interview Questions Are Legal?
A general rule is that the interview questions must be pertinent to the post for which you are applying.
For instance, the interviewer can ask:
- Will you be able to accomplish the activities allocated to you, which may entail some light lifting?
- Are you over the age of 18?
- Are you able to work legally in the United States?
- Do you have any kids for insurance purposes?
- What kind of qualifications do you have that would be relevant to this position?
The majority of the time, how a question is worded determines whether it is legal or not to ask it.
As previously stated, it is permissible if a question relates to the post being applied for. It may not be suitable to ask a question that has no bearing on the job description and is only intended to “dig around” in the subject’s personal history.
What Do I Do if Interview Questions Infringed on My Rights?
It might be difficult to determine whether your rights have been infringed during a job interview at times. It frequently calls for a basic understanding of both harassment and discrimination as they relate to employment laws. It might be required for you to submit a claim for legal remedies if you believe that you were subjected to discrimination during an interview.
In many instances, this starts with submitting a complaint to a government body like the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). You could have to sue the firm in civil court if this doesn’t work to settle the conflict. You would have to gather proof for this, such as the employment paperwork and any individual notes or memories from the interview.
What Steps Can Employers Take to Ensure Ethical Hiring Practices?
Many laws control employee hiring procedures to stop discrimination and unfair recruiting practices. To ensure compliance with all federal and state laws, employers should create an appropriate, standardized selection process to be used each time an employee is hired.
Can a Future Employer Request a Drug Test?
It is legal for firms to ask prospective employees to submit drug tests, even though such tests are unnecessary. Additionally, job applicants have the option of declining to take such a test; nevertheless, doing so might have an effect on their application.
If a business does administer drug tests, it must do so objectively and without taking into account a person’s race, gender, nationality, disability, or religion.
Can a Prospective Employer Get in Touch with a Candidate’s Former Employers?
Yes, and these reference checks may be typical practices. However, the calls must exclusively discuss work performance. Neither employer may ask for or give the applicant’s personal information.
Employers are not permitted to overstate the number of new employees. Remember that former employers have the right to inquire as to why an employee left a position.
How Should I Respond to Common Interview Questions?
In general, you should give the most thorough answers possible to interview questions.
The employer will have a full image of you while assessing your application for a job.
You don’t have to respond to a question that you think might be:
- Unrelated to the position you’re applying for
- An infringement of your privacy
- An improper interview question
As a general rule, every interview question should be relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Even if it is not permitted to bring up a candidate’s country of origin during a job interview, it may be crucial to ascertain whether they are proficient in the language to be used by the business. Because this may be a very fine line, you might wish to see a lawyer if you have questions regarding a particular interview method.
Every state has anti-discrimination legislation. If you think you were the victim of prejudice throughout the hiring process, write down your memories of the interview. You might wish to make a note of names, dates, and any queries that seem inappropriate. Employers cannot use certain information to choose one candidate over another. These categories include ones for age, race, sex, national origin, political affiliation, and others.
It could be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the company. There may be some legal options, such as receiving a damages award, having your application for employment reevaluated, or having the company change how it hires people.
What Kinds of Interview Questions Are Illegal?
During a job interview, employers are free to inquire about potential employees’ qualifications for the role as often as they like. This does not suggest that businesses can force applicants for jobs to answer illegal questions or that they can ask them whatever question they like. It is against the law to ask interview subjects about their age, race, gender, national origin, marital status, or religion.
Although asking about these matters isn’t expressly prohibited, doing so could infer discriminatory intent, which is against the law. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Because of this, it is illegal for an employer to reject your application on the grounds that it might be interpreted as having implications for discrimination based on any protected category.
Which Inquiries Should Employers Avoid Making?
Employers must never ask the questions listed below:
- Do you have a baby?
- Which type of religion do you follow?
- Which political party are you a member of?
- What race or ethnicity are you?
- Have you got a spouse?
- Do you currently have children, or do you have intentions to do so?
- Have you recently been afflicted with any serious illnesses?
These inquiries can be regarded as illegal.
How Should I Respond to an Unlawful Question in an Interview?
If a question that is prohibited is asked of you during an interview, you essentially have two options.
Consider the following situation when you mention that you are a parent and the employer says she reports to work at 9 a.m. after dropping her kids off at primary school. You believe the employer is being sincere when they ask how old your kids are, so you don’t mind answering.
In this instance, as well as any others, when you feel the question isn’t being made with discriminatory intent, you are always free to respond. Even though denying employment based on a person’s response to an unlawful inquiry is illegal, you should be aware that your replies may result in your being passed over for the position.
Certain innocuous interview questions contain a discriminatory motive. An employer asking about your pregnancy might be trying to determine your availability for the next holiday season, for example, if you are pregnant and due in January and are applying for a time-consuming position that requires extra hours during the holidays.
In this situation, the best course of action is to inform the interviewer that you believe the question is inappropriate and has nothing to do with your capacity to do the work. You are free to choose not to react, but you should do so politely to avoid sounding rude or unwelcoming.
Do I Require Legal Assistance for Legal Interview Questions?
There are instances when very minute legal disparities between state and federal laws come up in interview questions. You might need to consult a discrimination lawyer if you need help with any employment problems or legal matters.
A competent lawyer in your area can assist you with the claim-filing process and act as your advocate in court during the trial. Additionally, your lawyer can answer any queries you may have and offer you legal counsel.