Hiring managers: Avoid these questions when interviewing

new study from Career Builder and Harris Polls shows that 20 percent of hiring managers have asked job applicants illegal interview questions, whether inadvertently or intentionally. Similarly, one in three managers don’t know what kinds of questions are illegal to ask during the interview process. Which begs the question, do YOU know what kinds of interview questions could get you in trouble with the law? Here are some common interview questions that you should avoid, and some alternative options to keep in mind during the interview process. Avoid: Where are you from? Approved: Are you legally eligible for employment in the United States? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects job applicants and employees against discrimination based on a variety of factors, including race, national original, age, gender and religion. As hiring manager, you absolutely should know that the applicant can legally work for you and is able to pay taxes in the country that employs him or her, but it’s not necessary to find out what country the applicant hails from. Avoid: Do you have kids? Do you plan to have kids? Approved: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? It is illegal to discriminate against a candidate based on whether she (or he) has children or wants them at some future date. Asking about the future gives applicants the opportunity to share their career goals, and whether they see themselves staying at your organization long-term. Avoid: How old are you? Approved: Tell me about your previous work experience. Instead of asking the applicant’s age, find out what experiences they have that will allow them to do the best possible job for your organization. A wealth of related experience or a genuine desire to improve their skills and grow professionally is much more important than a number. Even if you play it safe and avoid all potentially discriminatory questions, know that the applicant may still volunteer answers that can be used to discriminate against them. Even if this happens, it is still your job to do the best you can to avoid discriminatory behavior in your hiring practices.]]>

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