Interview decorum is poorSome 85% of interviewers involved in the survey have asked ‘off-limits’ questions. But what are they? The main objective for hiring managers when conducting an interview should be to ask questions that pertain to the job role and the relative suitability of the candidate. But the findings show there are many non-related personal questions they frequently employ at interview stage, and a high percentage of them think it’s ok to do so:
- What year they were born– 88%
- Where their accent is from– 91%
- If they are in a relationship or married– 51%
- If they have plans to start a family– 42%
Lack of trainingNearly half of all hiring managers involved in the survey said they had never received official training about what kinds of questions they are allowed to ask during an interview. This could be tied to a high-level lack of training among junior hiring staff, with only 36% saying they had received training. If entry-level and junior level staff are not schooled in interview acumen, this systematic lack of understanding will run through the business and will follow employees as they move up the ladder, who will, in turn, fail to teach their successors.
Hiring legislation requires managers to treat all candidates fairly and without discrimination. But there is not a strong understanding of what constitutes discriminatory practices during an interview.
Interview ethics: Gender differencesThere is a big variation between the genders when it comes to interview ethics from the perspectives of hiring teams as well as candidates. 42% of male hiring managers thought asking candidates about potential maternity and paternity leave was acceptable compared to only 24% of their female counterparts. From the perspective of candidates, 23% of men have reportedly felt mistreated and subjected to discriminatory practices during job interviews, and even more, an estimated 43%, have actively reported these feelings to the interviewer at the time. Only 22% of women confronted the interviewer if they felt the conversation had become too personal.
A culture of silenceThe survey found that one-in-five employees have felt mistreated during an interview. A majority of those asked (a shocking 48%) said they tried to ignore the situation. The percentages of those who took action during an unsavoury interview situation is low, with only 34% confronting the interviewer and even less (a dismal 17%) making a complaint against the company afterwards.
Know the lawWith the exception of positive awareness surrounding disability support, British employment law dictates that employers can’t ask people about their ‘protected characteristics’ during an interview as it can lead to discrimination. ‘Protected characteristics’ include everything from marital status to race and ethnicity – you can check out your full rights under the 2010 Equality act here.
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