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leah waller

Is that question really appropriate?

February 26th, 2018

When being interviewed for a new job, how many of the questions that you are asked are appropriate?

An employer, or prospective employer, should only be asking questions that are relevant to the role that you are applying for and how you will perform in that role, ensuring that there is no discriminatory undertones to any of the interview questions.

We have set out below five interview questions that are commonly asked but are not appropriate:-

1. How old are you?

Asking a potential employee their age is riddled with complications when considering age discrimination.

There are some circumstances where age may be relevant (such as the sales of tobacco or alcohol) but even then, knowledge of the potential employees exact age will not be required, rather just that they are over the required age to fulfil the role

2. What country are you from originally?

Employers are obliged to ensure that you have the necessary document to legally work in the UK however, the employer does not need to know where you are from originally or any other details if you can satisfy the requirement to work within the UK.

 3. Tell me about your family life / Do you have children?

Whether you have children or not is highly unlikely to impact your ability to perform the job that you have applied for and whilst the interviewer may appear to be asking this in an interested way to get to know more about you, this is not acceptable.

 4. Do you have any disabilities?

An employer may need to know of adjustment that are required in order for you to attend and/or participate in the interview but whether you have a disability or not should have no bearing on whether you are best placed to perform in the role that you have applied for.

Your employer may require information as to any disabilities so that they can make adjustments to the workplace. However, it is not appropriate for the employer to discuss this with you at the interview process, rather after the job has been offered.

5. Would you receive a clear DBS check? / Have you been found guilty of any criminal offences?

 Your employer can find this out by carrying out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if it is relevant for the role that is being applied for. If the employer is concerned about this then they should be carrying out the necessary checks either prior to interview or after offering you a role on a conditional basis.

You should not be discriminated against because of previous criminal convictions if these have been spent and so it is unnecessary for a prospective employer to ask such questions.

Job interviews can be a stressful without unnecessary questions.

 If you think that you have been discriminated against when applying for a role, or if you are looking to hire new staff and want to ensure that your interview questions are up to scratch, please contact our specialist employment solicitor, Leah Waller, on 01494 77 33 77.

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