The worst questions to ask your candidates

Hiring the right candidate requires careful planning, ranging from ascertaining job requirements to advertisements to asking the right questions from the shortlisted candidates. In a competitive recruitment landscape driven by candidates, finding the right fit for the role with minimum time to hire is of the essence. This, in turn, compounds an organizations footprint in terms of brand image and sustainability in the market.

The questions form the basis on which you gauge the candidate’s capabilities and juxtapose it against the company’s goals and visions. The right list of questions allows the employees to separate the wheat from the chaff and clear any misunderstandings beforehand and not deep into the hiring process. Having said that, there have been times when the HR or a recruitment agency has been guilty of asking inappropriate questions, far from being relevant to the job at hand.

Apart from awkwardness, irrelevant questions can be quite detrimental to the image of an organization and can put it in a legal soup, if not timely addressed. Let’s scour through some of the off the cuff questions which shouldn’t be asked to a candidate.

  •    Anything to do with characteristics of a candidate personality like their mannerism or the way they look etc. should not be brought up in an interview. Even asking questions about their marital status and religion is a no-go area. Questions like “are you dating someone” or “will your religious beliefs affect your ability to work” fall into this category.
  •    The other questions might be related to ethnicity, nationality or race. No matter how ridiculous they may sound but questions like “Is English your native language” or “which race you belong to” do pop up in the interviews.
  •    Another list of cringe-worthy questions can be pertaining to your standing in the previous job, for example, “How many days of absenteeism in the last role” or “What was your most hated characteristics amongst the peers”. This kind of questions is considered as a low blow, meant to undermine the candidate’s ability to perform on the job.

There is no place for outlandish questions which don’t commensurate with the job requirements and only trigger awkwardness and are a killjoy. Any impertinent questions are liable for legal scrutiny along with the unwarranted propaganda on social media platforms, powerful enough to destroy the reputation of an organization. To top it off, it’s a complete waste of time, a hurdle to the foundation of an interview process.

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