Recruiting Blog

Employers: What you can and can’t say in an interview.

Employers: What you can and can’t say in an interview.

Forbes posted an article not too long ago called 10 things you should never ask in a job interview.  It’s great advice for candidates, but employers have their own guidelines to follow.  These are common sense type questions which frankly, are easily forgotten in todays over communicated and lax society.  

interview tips for employersIt’s been our experience that HR teams already know which questions to avoid but often, what happens during the interview process is there are multiple interviews scheduled with different company representatives like the hiring department manager.  Sometimes when a candidate is handed over, the lines become blurred, the formalities lessen and inappropriate questions creep in.

Department managers who may not interview often should be reminded of topics or questions that need to be avoided.  Avoid questions pertaining to age, ancestry, citizenship, credit rating, criminal record, disabilities, family status, pregnancy, gender, military discharge, or religion.  I found a post by a legal firm that I thought would be helpful for hiring managers that wanted to brush up the legalities of what you can and can say during an interview.

Another recommendation we have is to ensure the interviewer stays clear from mentioning work-related complaints or office gossip.  You may be shocked at those suggestions, but as a recruiting firm, we’ve had many debriefings where a candidate mentioned an interviewer slipped and mentioned office gossips or complaints.  These types of comments can reflect negatively on the company.

Finding the right candidate can be challenging but when it really comes down to the hiring process, it begins with the interview.  Make sure all parties involved are prepared for the right outcome.  Again, to avoid unnecessary hiccups, make sure your team has a list of interview questions that are directly related to the position.

Have any more questions?  We’d be glad to help. Email us directly at

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