In every job interview the goal is to obtain important information while building a friendly rapport with the candidate. But some questions can be too friendly. It is important to avoid discrimination during the recruitment process. This not only is a legal requirement, but also gives you the best chance of getting the right person for the job.

You need to remember that job applicants – i.e. people you don’t actually employ – might be able to make an employment tribunal claim against you if they believe you didn’t select them for a job because you discriminated against them unlawfully. There are clear no go areas for employers as they may contravene discrimination legislation. Questions to be avoided include:

How old are you? Are you planning on retiring soon?

Giving the prospective employee the impression that you consider them to be too young or too old is not a good idea.

Are you married? What are your childcare arrangements? Are you planning to start a family soon?

Asking questions like this indicates that you are worried about someone’s flexibility to be able to meet the demands of your workplace.

Do you have a disability?

There is a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments for someone who has a disability which presents a barrier to them being able to perform their role. A little thought towards what those might be could eradicate any misconceived reluctance to employ someone with a disability.

Are you a member of a trade union?

Trade unions are notoriously considered by employers to be trouble makers. Asking a prospective employee this question may make them think you only want people to work for you who will cause them less trouble.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Questions should focus on establishing who has the best skills to perform the role, rather than those which elicit a response that has nothing to do with someone’s job related knowledge or capabilities.

For further information and advice on the subject then please contact Peninsula on 0844 892 2772.