Beimdiek Blog

Are Your Interview Questions Compliant?

In today’s litigious environment, it’s more important than ever when hiring that managers and human resources personnel ask the questions that are compliant with applicable federal, state, and local rules. Accomplishing this task can be harder than it sounds. Sometimes the difference between a compliant and non-compliant question comes down to subtle differences between the two. For example:

  • It’s permissible to ask a physically challenged applicant if his or her disability may impede their job performance. However, asking he or she general questions about the disability may be considered discrimination. Asking about an applicant’s marital status, or whether or not he or she has children, is improper. However, it is permissible to ask the applicant if he or she has any "outside of work" commitments that may impede job performance.
  • Asking questions designed to gauge an applicant’s level of creativity or intelligence may or may not be permissible, depending on the exact wording. For example, asking a brainteaser such as “what color/candy/animal are you” may run into compliance issues. However, asking the applicant to describe how he or she dealt with a challenge in previous job is generally acceptable.
  • Directly asking an applicant if he or she has ever been arrested is, in most states, outside the bounds of compliance. However, the interviewer may inquire as to whether the applicant has had any convictions that might affect his or her ability to do the job.
  • Asking the applicant to list all societies, unions, clubs, etc. of which they been a member is noncompliant. However, the interviewer may ask the applicant about any organizations in which he or she holds membership if, in the applicant’s opinion, said membership is relevant to the position.

As you can see, the line between compliant and non-compliant interview question isn’t always cut and dry. For this reason, we invite you to contact us today for your free initial consultation. We can help to ensure you remain within compliance boundaries, protecting you from legal issues and helping you to run your organization smoothly and profitably. At Beimdiek, we have a team of experts ready to help you and our services include putting these kind of helpful guides at your fingertips though our client portal. Want to know more? Just give me a call at 417-358-4007.


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