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How To Avoid Discriminatory Interview Questions

Discriminatory Interview Questions

Asking the right questions in an interview helps you determine if the candidate has the skills and qualifications for the position. It is important to find that person who will flourish in the role. However, its easy to unintentionally ask discriminatory interview questions, especially if you wear many hats in your job and you haven’t been trained to interview.

Here are four basic guidelines to help you avoid discriminatory interview questions:

  1. Have a good job description for each different position for which you hire. This will serve to provide you with clarity on required vs. desired skills and qualifications. Job descriptions will also serve as your guide as you develop screening and interview questions.
  2. Create standard questions that you ask each candidate during the interview. Having a set list will ensure that you don’t forget to ask certain questions. Plus it will also help you avoid asking discriminatory questions. You may certainly explore the candidates’ answers in more depth, but ask every candidate the same initial questions.
  3. Know what questions are discriminatory. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you own or manage a business, make sure anyone who will be conducting interviews is trained on how to interview properly. You can download this Free Guide for further explanation of interview questions to avoid.
  4. Understand what information you need to find out from the candidates. Often times discriminatory questions can be reframed into questions that are not only appropriate, but will elicit a more informative response from the candidate. Appropriate questions create a better dialogue and rapport between the interviewer and the candidate. For guideline on reframing and asking appropriate interview questions, check our Free Guide.

Bottom line, interview questions should explore the actual job skills and experience that are essential for the position. Keep them centered on the job requirements, qualifications and duties. Plan ahead using the four guidelines above and our Free Guide.  This ensures that your interview process will be smoother and minimize your risk of asking discriminatory interview questions.

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