How Asking The Wrong Questions Can Affect Your Interviewee

Earlier this month aspire cambridge had a phone call from a client who had just finished an interview with our candidate, absolutely loved her and wanted to offer her the job for whenever our candidate was ready to start. This was a brilliant call from the client and we couldn’t wait to tell the candidate.

However we were met with a less than impressed reaction for the candidate and on digging a little further we found out why our candidate was not jumping for joy to work for this client and why they were actually choosing to decline the offer of a job with this company.

Our female candidate was asked what she would do if she had a strict deadline to meet and her child had fallen ill and the school wanted to send the child home but she needed to collect him from school. She was also asked about her childcare arrangements while she was at work and if there was childcare in place if she needed to work late or start early.

The most interesting part perhaps is that our candidate does not have children, but because she is in her mid thirties the client presumed she did and therefore asked these personal and intrusive questions that were highly inappropriate and off-putting for our candidate.

While these questions may seem perfectly reasonable to you, you are not legally allowed to discriminate against someone on their family situation, it is not legal to ask questions of this sort because if the client feels they did not get the job because of their answers to these questions they are within their rights to complain.

You need to make sure that you are very clear in your job description or at time of interview that the candidate clearly understands your expectations, deadlines and hours of work, if longer hours are expected at certain times of the year then this must be made clear to the candidate.

This means you are giving your candidate all the information they need about the role within your company and they can decide if they can commit to this role or not and if they can arrange childcare to suit their working hours.

Very few people will take on a role that they cannot commit to and know they can’t do – don’t try and oversell the position, but instead explain the full job role including ‘warts and all’ then they can’t say they ‘didn’t know’.

Be careful about the questions you ask in interview as you could put off those candidates that would be incredible employees for your business, or get yourself in some serious trouble legally.