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Apply caution when asking candidates these three questions! They aren't illegal, but they could lead to unintentional discrimination

by , 21 October 2014
You need to tread carefully when conducting interviews.

If you aren't, you could find yourself facing unfair discrimination claims. And if found guilty, you may have to pay compensation costs.

Since that's a risk you can't afford to take, avoid asking candidates the following two questions because they could lead to unintended discrimination.


Two questions which could lead to unintended discrimination
 

The following two questions aren't illegal, but could lead you to discriminate unfairly against a candidate. That's why we recommend you avoid them or apply caution when you ask them.
 
Question #1: Personal interest questions
 
Avoid questions like:
 
  • What rugby team do you support?
  • What school/university did you go to?
  • What music do you like?
  • What sport do you play?
 
The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says these questions may seem like innocent small talk, but there's a possibility you may feel an affinity with a candidate and unconsciously give him an unfair advantage.

 
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Question #2: Where do you live? And do you have your own car?
 
If it's a requirement of the job that the candidate should stay near the workplace or have a car, you can ask these questions. But if it's not, the answer may unfairly influence your decision not to employ a candidate who lives far from the office, or doesn't have his own transport.
 
Our labour laws say you can't discriminate against a candidate on this basis. It will be the candidate's responsibility to get to work on time once he's signed the contract and acknowledged his working hours.

The bottom line: Asking these questions isn't illegal, but, you must apply caution when asking them. This way, you won't find yourself facing unfair discrimination claims.
 
PS: To ensure every step of your recruitment is legal and effective, get your hands on Recruitment: The Complete Guide.
 

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