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HR Interview Questions to Avoid Ensuring Fair Hiring Process
March 7, 2022
HR Interview Questions and the Issues of Discrimination
Discrimination and unfair hiring practices can be challenging to navigate, especially when HR professionals and hiring managers are under tight deadlines. Certain HR interview questions can be deemed discriminatory or unfair without any intent on the part of the HR professional. At times, even HR managers who are well-versed in fair hiring practices can slip up, asking irrelevant or simply inappropriate questions.
Should your business be accused of unfair hiring practices, the issue could grow into a much more complicated liability concern that could violate employment laws in Canada or the United States. Regardless of their age, race, gender, or sexual identity, all candidates deserve to be treated fairly and equally, and HR managers are tasked with ensuring that their hiring practices are fair and equal from start to finish.
The Problem of Unconscious Bias Related to HR Interview Questions
Every manager should be focused on finding the right candidate for the available role. Questions regarding race, age, gender identity, or sexuality are irrelevant, and job interviews should be focused on assessing skills and learning about the candidate. Be aware of the quick thoughts and decisions you may form from the first impression. An unconscious bias can be rooted in anything from a candidate’s appearance, name, or accent.
It can influence hiring decisions and cause a loss of focus on determining who the right candidate is for the available position. Simply put, never judge a book by its cover, but instead look to assess skills and determine who is the right fit for the job.
Five HR Interview Questions to Avoid That Can Help Promote Fair Hiring Practices
These are the top questions HR managers should never ask:
- Questions that uncover a candidate’s age can be tricky to navigate for any HR professional. Never ask “How old are you?” and avoid questions revealing a candidate’s age, such as “When did you graduate from college or university?”
- Inquiring about a candidate’s marital status may lead to discriminatory hiring practices, especially for women. Never ask questions like, “Are you planning on having children?” or “Are you married?”
- Questions regarding sexual orientation are highly inappropriate, can make candidates uncomfortable, and land your business in legal trouble.
- Citizenship questions are also problematic as they might reveal details about a candidate’s religion, race, or ethnicity. Asking “How long have you been a Canadian citizen” can lead to unconscious bias, negatively impact hiring decisions, and stray away from assessing a candidate’s skills as a professional.
- Health and wellbeing questions are highly discriminatory. If a candidate has a disability, they must offer to reveal that on their own accord. Never ask a candidate, “Are you in good health?” or “Have you had any substance abuse or addiction problems?”
Guidelines for Developing HR Interview Questions
Many industries should take a close look at their hiring practices and revise them periodically to avoid discrimination and create a fairer and more equitable workplace for all.
Begin with the language in your job descriptions and determine whether the verbiage has any gender bias. Times have changed, and candidates are keenly aware of the problematic nature of gendered language. Should your job listings reflect the inclusive nature of your workplace, you are likely to attract more candidates that value such commitments.
HR Interview Questions, Hiring, and Screening Solutions from ISB Global Services
Hiring managers can navigate the complexity of hiring, interviewing, and screening mass amounts of candidates alongside ISB Global Services. By offering a wide range of background checks and screening solutions tailored to the needs of HR professionals, hiring managers can ensure a fair and compliant hiring process from start to finish. Candidates can even be requested to provide their own background check as a condition for employment, helping you save money while completing proper due diligence.
Explore our suite of products and ensure the quality of your workforce by conducting background checks on new candidates and existing employees. Complete your due diligence and avoid applicants with problematic criminal histories that can hurt your company’s reputation and create instances of misconduct.
Contact us directly to learn more about HR offerings, including background checks, financial record checks, identity verification, and driving records.