Interviews are a chance for you to get to know the person you are thinking of hiring and you want to know as much about that person as possible, but there are a few questions you should avoid.

Here’s our top 5 questions to avoid;

  1. How old are you?
  • No questions should be asked about a candidates age during an interview, it’s not relevant to their ability to do the job.
  • If you’ve invited someone to an interview, then their Dalmatian profile / CV obviously impressed you enough to invite them in.
  • Don’t try and get around it by posing age related questions, such as how long the candidate saw themselves working until retirement.
  1. Do you have children?
  • You should avoid asking about an interviewees marital status, or whether they have children or whether they want them. It is irrelevant to a person’s ability to do the job.
  • I always advise people not to mention it on their CV either.
  • You should NEVER question anyone about their sexual preferences.
  1. How’s your health?
  • Subjects such as sickness records, health or disabilities should be avoided during an interview.
  • The only time, you can ask about these issues is to determine an applicant’s suitability for the job, or whether you need to make adjustments to accommodate a new employees’ needs.
  1. Are you from the UK?
  • Employers do have a legal obligation to check that applicants are eligible to work in the UK, but they have no right to ask about your race, religion or native language.
  • You might need someone who can speak a language fluently, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be their first language, as long as the preferred language can be written and spoken to the required standard.
  1. Any criminal convictions?
  • During an interview, you can’t ask a candidate whether or not they have any criminal convictions. If a conviction is spent, then there is no obligation for a candidate to disclose it.
  • However, if the previous crime is pertinent to the role, then it must be disclosed, for example, working with children, healthcare or a financial role.
  • As an employer, if you are hiring for a certain role, then you will carry out a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service)

If you are unsure about any aspect of interviewing someone, then please check with your HR department as they will be able to provide you with proper guidance and talk you through your company’s guidelines. If your business doesn’t have an HR department then the ACAS website is full of really great advice

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