10 inappropriate questions interviewers need to stop asking

10 inappropriate questions interviewers need to stop asking

The vast majority of firms have asked candidates inappropriate and potentially illegal questions during job interviews, according to new research from Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS).

The researchers found that 85% of interviewers have asked questions such as ‘Have you got any plans to start a family?’ (42%)’ ‘Did you grow up outside of the UK?’ (45%) or ‘Are you physically fit and healthy?’ (53%).

Such questions have the potential to breach the law, which requires potential employers to treat all candidates fairly.

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However, many interviewers could be totally unaware their innocent questioning could be a legal grey area, with nearly half (47%) saying they have never had official training on what questions to ask in an interview.

“Official training should be mandatory across all business sectors for anyone involved in the process of interviewing prospective candidates,” said HRS Founder and former Apprentice winner Ricky Martin.

“It’s also really important a light is shone on what is and isn’t acceptable in the recruitment process to give prospective employees the best possible chance of success at the interview stage.”

From an employee point of view, the survey found that one in five (19%) feel they have been mistreated in an interview.  Of those, 48% tried to ignore it, 34% told the interviewer how they felt, 19% walked out and just 17% made a complaint to the hiring company.

“This research isn’t about suggesting the recruitment process is made easy for interviewees, but ensuring all prospective employees are given a fair and honest opportunity to secure a job based on their skills and ability not their gender, personal choices or maternity/paternity choices!” added Martin.

The top 10 off limits questions that hiring managers admitted they have asked candidates in interviews include:

  • What year did you graduate? (59%)

  • What year were you born? (55%)

  • Do you have any children? (56%)

  • Are you physically fit and healthy? (53%

  • Are you in a relationship or married? (51%)

  • Have you got any plans to start a family? (42%)

  • Where is your accent from? (46%)

  • Will you need flexible time for family life? (46%)

  • Did you grow up outside of the UK? (45%)

  • Will you need time off during half term? (43%) 



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