Hiring & Recruiting

Interview Checklist–The 25 Forbidden Questions

In yesterday’s Advisor, legal landmines for interviewers. Today, a handy checklist for interviewers from BLR’s HR Audit Checklists.

Check each forbidden question to indicate your awareness that it cannot be asked in employment interviews.

Forbidden Questions–Age

  • “How old are you?”

  • “What is your date of birth?”

(You may ask, “Do you meet the state minimum age requirement for work?” and “Are you over 18 and under age 65?”)

Forbidden Questions–Availability for Work and Travel

  • “Can you work Saturdays and Sundays?”

  • “Do you have children?”

  • “What are your child care arrangements?”

(You may ask, “These are the hours of work — can you attend work during these hours?” and “Work sometimes requires overtime. Can you work such a schedule?” and “Do you have any obligations that would keep you from work-related travel?”)
Forbidden Questions–Birthplace and Citizenship

  • “Where were you born?”

  • “What is your native language?”

(You may ask, “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?”)

Forbidden Questions–Clubs and Affiliations

  • “To what organizations do you belong?”

  • “Do you want to tell me about any of your memberships relating to the performance of this job?”

Forbidden Questions–Disabilities

  •  “Do you have a disability?”

  •  “Have you ever filed for workers’ compensation?”

  •  “Have you ever been treated for any of the following conditions or diseases (followed by a checklist of various illnesses)?”

  •  “How many days were you absent from work because of illness last year?”

  •  “What prescription medications are you taking?”

  •  “Is there any health-related reason you may not be able to perform the job for which you are applying?”

(You may ask, “Can you perform the essential functions of the job for which you are applying?” and “Can you demonstrate to me how you would perform those functions?”)

Forbidden Questions–Economic status

  •  “Have you ever had your wages garnished?”

  •  “Do you own your own home?”

  •  “How long do you plan to work on this job?”

  •  “Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?”

Forbidden Questions–Name

  •  “Have you ever had your name changed?”

  •  “What is your maiden name?”

(You may ask, “Is there any additional information we need about your name to verify your employment/education record?”)

Using the “hope” system? (We “hope” we’re doing it right.) Check out every facet of your HR program with HR Audit Checklists. Try it for 30 days! Click here

Forbidden Questions–Relatives

  •  “Who is the relative to be notified in case of emergency?”

  •  “Are you married?”

  •  “Do you have children?”

  •  “Do you plan to get pregnant?”

That’s a great checklist for interview questions; what about the myriad other “dangerous” HR tasks? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a checklist for each of them? Good news–our editors have the solution.

Why Checklists?

Why are checklists so great? Because they’re completely impersonal and they force you to jump through all the necessary hoops, one by one. They also assure consistency in how operations are conducted. And that’s vital in HR, where it’s all too easy to land in court if you discriminate in how you treat one employee over another.

The program the editors recommend is BLR’s HR Audit Checklists.

Just as an example of how it compels thoroughness, it contains not 1, but 3 checklists relating to recordkeeping and digital information management. One lists 34 types of data, and also covers confidentiality, emergency planning, efficiency, compliance with laws, and safety. You’d likely never think of all those possible trouble areas without a checklist, but with it, just scan down the list and you instantly see where you might get tripped up.

Don’t “just do it” — do it right.  HR Audit Checklists ensures that you know how.  Try the program at no cost or risk. Read more

In fact, housed in the HR Audit Checklists binder are dozens of extensive lists organized into reproducible packets, for easy distribution to line managers and supervisors. There’s a separate packet for each of the following areas:

  • HR Administration (including communications, handbook content, and recordkeeping)

  • Health and Safety (including OSHA responsibilities)

  • Benefits and Leave (including health cost containment, COBRA, FMLA, workers’ compensation, and several areas of leave)

  • Compensation (payroll and the Fair Labor Standards Act)

  • Staffing and Training (incorporating Equal Employment Opportunity in recruiting and hiring, including immigration issues)

  • Performance and Termination (appraisals, discipline, and termination)

HR Audit Checklists is available for a no-cost, no-risk evaluation in your office for up to 30 days. Visit here and we’ll be happy to arrange it.