Job interviews aren’t just stressful for jobseekers. Employers, too, have to be mindful of what they say. Asking the wrong interview questions can result in a bad hire or worse yet, put a company at risk for potential claims of discrimination. In fact, a poll commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 1 in 5 hiring managers have unknowingly asked illegal interview questions (Source).
Even common, seemingly innocent questions in Hawaii like “What school you went? What year you grad?” could expose your company to claims of discrimination. Why? Because knowing when a job applicant graduated high school gives you a pretty good idea of how old that person is, and state and federal law prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on age.
In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits discrimination based on other protected classes like disability, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, and sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation). Any interview questions employers ask that touch on those issues, could be unlawful.
To help break it all down, download our FREE Interview Guide to Lawful and Unlawful Inquiries that’s been updated to reflect the latest 2020 Hawaii employment laws. It provides a helpful list of the types of questions related to protected classes that an employer can and cannot ask an applicant.
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