How to Ensure your Job Interviews Meet Legal Requirements


For both the potential employee and the interested business, there is no more important step in the employment process than a job interview. This helps both parties figure out whether the applicant is a good fit for the job being offered. Any employer needs to keep in mind, though, that there are certain laws and regulations regarding job interviews. You can make sure your interviews follow the law by following the advice below.

Keep your Questions Focused

You should make sure that each question in your interviews has a specific reason to be asked. For example, finding out about somebody’s residency status and their eligibility to work in the UK is important, but you shouldn’t extend that topic to questions about a person’s lineage, their parents’ place of birth, or any other extraneous details. If there isn’t a specific employment-related reason to ask a question, don’t do so. Probing too deeply into somebody’s nation of origin, age, or religion can be seen as discriminatory and may open you up to legal action. If you do ask about details such as age, height and weight, or physical disability, be sure that such questions are linked to a specific aspect of the job.

Avoid Certain Topics

Unless they are integral to your business in some way, there are certain questions you should avoid entirely. For example, asking about marital status or family members can be seen as discrimination. If you think such an issue might impede a person’s ability to do the job, ask if there is anything that might interfere with the applicant’s attendance and effort. Personal details and information about disabilities should also be avoided if possible. Unless you can show that the position has certain physical requirements that might make it unsuitable for people with a certain disability or who are not of a specific height or weight, any questions in this area can be seen as unlawful and discriminatory.

Keep Proper Records

Good recordkeeping and overall professionalism is always a must and may save you from undue legal action. Make sure that all postings for the position are professionally written and overseen by a recruitment professional, as this can help minimise ambiguity and possible misunderstandings. When you choose not to hire somebody based on an interview, make sure to record a clear reason why the person is no longer being considered. These records might come up during a court battle. If questioned by the applicant why they are no longer in consideration, be sure to provide an answer that is straightforward and consistent with your records. Professionalism and attention to detail can save you a lot of stress.

The UK anti-discrimination laws are in place to make sure that everybody has an equal chance at gaining a level of employment consistent with their skills and experience. If you avoid questions that are not integral to the nature of the position, don’t delve into personal matters during an interview, and maintain a professional and detail-oriented focus at all times, you will most likely remain in legal compliance during the interview process. 

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