Great news! You get the green light to hire someone new for your team. That means scouring resumes and ultimately interviewing the most promising candidates. But when do seemingly harmless questions turn into a potential legal headache for you and your company?
See how you well you know what’s in bounds and what’s not by answering True or False to the following statements regarding job interview behavior:
- A female candidate volunteers that she has four school age children. Since she’s the one who brought up her family situation, it’s OK to ask if her family obligations will interfere with her working overtime
- You just promoted a 29-year-old employee into a new supervisory position. It’s OK to ask a clearly older candidate if she has a problem working for the younger boss.
- You’re interviewing an obviously disabled candidate for a job that requires long periods of standing. It’s OK to ask if the person is able to stand for extended periods.
- It doesn’t matter which one of you brought up her family situation. It’s not a good idea to ask about family duties and how it would affect the person’s ability to perform the job. The type of question you can ask: “This job requires overtime. Is there any reason you wouldn’t be able to work extra hours?”
- The question, while not going directly at the age issue, does presuppose that you’ve taken age into account when determining how suited a candidate is for the job. That’s at least possibly illegal and could be tough to defend if someone brought a claim.
- This is one you can ask. For jobs that require some physical exertion, it’s OK to inquire whether a candidate is able to perform the physical part of the job … as long as you ask the question of all candidates for the job, disabled and non-disabled.
So how’d you do?
Which tricky legal issue would you like us to tackle next? Tell us in the comments section.