It's important to keep the interviewing process as professional as possible.
When you're interviewing a potential employee, you should always keep the focus of the conversation on the information they've provided in their resume, particularly their relevant skills and experience.
Asking personal questions can be unprofessional, and in some cases even illegal. Here are some areas you should be treading with care.
Whether or not the potential employee has given you their age, it is not an appropriate question to ask. You may have a bias toward hiring people with a little more experience behind them. However, you don't want to be found guilty of age discrimination.
2. Birth Date
A job candidate may not provide you with their birth date. Again, as with the age question, you don't want to be liable for age discrimination, so this question should be avoided.
3. Birth Place
In some cases, a candidate may be an immigrant. However, you should not ask them directly where they have come from. Instead, ask them if they are legally eligible to work in Australia, as that is a valid question.
4. Religious Beliefs
You cannot make hiring decisions based on an individual's personal religious beliefs. This question should not come up in an interview. You cannot hire on the basis of personal convictions.
5. Relationship Status
One's relationship status should not factor into their eligibility for a positions, whether they are single, married, straight or gay. You should not ask any questions pertaining to a potential employee's relationship status.
It is only appropriate to ask about the candidate's spouse if they are currently working for the same company you are working at. Otherwise, it is not appropriate to ask about their spouse's name, occupation or income.
It is not proper to ask about the prospective employee's children. In addition, if the applicant is female, you should not try to determine whether or not they are at a childbearing age. This should not play a part in their eligibility for the job.
It is important to consider whether or not a potential employee can safely and efficiently carry out their tasks. However, you cannot outright ask them whether they are physically or mentally disabled.
9. Social Clubs or Organizations
A job candidate may be involved in various social clubs or organizations. However, determining what those are could reveal some of their personal beliefs, religious or otherwise.
You may ask if they are part of any professional organizations, but not whether or not they belong to other social clubs and organizations.
10. Criminal Activity
You cannot ask whether or not a candidate has been arrested. You can, however, ask if they've ever been convicted of a crime.
Finally, remember to keep the interview strictly professional. Stay away from any conversation topics that could be misconstrued as a line of questioning with an agenda. Make it a point to focus on the applicant's experience and skills that relate to the position they are applying for. Use your judgment to discern whether or not they are a right fit for the job.
Image: Samuel Mann