Federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination by age, race, gender, national origin, citizenship, disabilities, marital status, sexual orientation, arrest and conviction record, military discharge status and pregnancy status. The purpose of a job interview is to determine whether someone has the ability to do the job
To prevent discrimination lawsuits, share this list of questions which cannot be asked with interviewers ahead of time.
Illegal Interview Questions
• How old are you?
• When did you graduate from _______?
• Are you married?
• Are you gay?
• Do you have/plan on having children?
• Who will take care of your children while you’re at work?
• Is English your first language?
• Are you a U.S. citizen?
• What country are you from?
• Where were you/your parents born?
• What is your religion?
• Where do you go to church?
• What clubs or social organizations do you belong to?
• Do you have any disabilities?
• How is your health?
• How tall are you? How much do you weigh?
• Have you ever been arrested?
• If you’ve been in the military, were you honorably discharged?
Interviewing for a Culture Fit
GENERAL CULTURAL FIT: To elicit a candidate’s values and work behaviors, ask questions about work habits, ideal role, problem solving and how they handle challenges (see the next page for examples). For each question, analyze the response based on how well it complements the way other employees at your company function.
COMPANY VALUES: List your company’s values, then craft an associated question designed to illuminate how a candidate might react or behave in that environment or circumstance. For example, if “agility” is one of your values, consider asking a question like, “Tell me about a time you were thrown into a new environment and how you handled that.” Evaluate the response based on how well the candidate demonstrates they can embody that value.
TEAM CULTURE: Every team has its own culture based on the natural function of the role and the personalities within it. A talkative, assertive personality might be a perfect fit for a high-energy sales team, but not within a more quiet, analytical department like engineering.
Create rejection template emails that mention the interview steps completed by the candidate. Personalize each email by the recipient’s name and the name of the team and/or team members. Create a separate template for each of these steps:
• Initial phone/video screen
• Phone/video screen and test
• First round of interviews
• Second round
Send emails as soon as a candidate is rejected.
Mention if you would like them to apply for another role at the company in the future.
Call candidates who made it to the final round of a senior-level position, spent a significant amount of time interviewing or traveled to the interview.