Eight out of Ten Interviewers Have Asked Inappropriate Questions While Recruiting

Eight out of Ten Interviewers Have Asked Inappropriate Questions While Recruiting

  • Date: Friday 28th September 2018
  • PDF: Download

A recent survey has found that nearly 85% of interviewers have asked “off limit” questions during the recruitment process.  The most frequently asked questions related to whether a candidate had children, whether they were married, the origins of an accent and whether they had grown up outside the UK.

Recruitment managers need to be aware of the risk of a misdirected interview question leading to a claim of discrimination. They also need to remember that applicants are entitled to the same protections as employees under the Equality Act 2010.  The risk to the recruiter is that a candidate could claim they had been turned down for a role due to certain characteristics such as age, gender, relationship status or family plans, even if this was not the actual reason for the rejection.

The survey further showed that 77% of interviewers did not know it was potentially discriminatory to ask a candidate if they were planning to take maternity or paternity leave.  Employers were also being placed at risk as a result of questions commonly being asked about parenting. 

Key Learning Points for Interviewers

  • Focus interview questions on the job role
  • Consider candidates on the basis of their skills fit for the job role
  • Base the final selection on a candidate’s experience and skills match for role
  • Ensure the recruitment process enables candidates to be given a fair and honest opportunity
  • Ensure recruitment is not based on a candidate’s gender, personal decisions or maternity / paternity choices
  • Consider interview training for all recruiters in your organisation.  Please contact SSG for further support with interview skills training.


Source: Hyper Recruitment Solutions Survey 2018

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