Illegal questions in a job interview
Recently several cases have come to light in which, in the selection process for a specific position in a company, the candidates were asked to carry out a pregnancy test. This test does not have any kind of connection with the position in question nor is it lawful or legal and in fact the company in question has been reported and fined . But it's not the only case.
In many personnel selection processes, aspects that are not of concern to the company are questioned, nor do they affect the performance of the position offered. Some of them are even illegal. This is exactly what we are going to focus on in this article: the realization of illegal questions in a job interview .
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The process of personnel selection
We live in a world in which the labor market is competitive and there is a large number of people interested in practically any possible job that can be created. Thus, when a company needs to fill a vacancy or expand and make that demand visible, it usually receives hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of answers. And in that situation, you must choose among the candidates by filtering opponents in a more or less systematic way , something that has been doing for thousands of years (already done in the Chinese Empire).
The selection of personnel is the process by which the company, after establishing the criteria regarding the type of worker you are looking for and the knowledge required to cover the position in question, proceeds to find the candidate that best suits the position. For this, different techniques are used, such as psychometric tests that measure the capacity of the subject in certain areas. Another of the main pillars in the selection of personnel is the interview.
In a job interview, a subject belonging to the corporation or company in question or directly interested in hiring a worker establishes an interaction where you can observe the candidate's characteristics and / or aptitudes and assessing whether or not it may be appropriate to the position offered through a series of questions or even activities.
The functions of the job interview are to have a first contact with the applicant and collect information on their suitability as a candidate, in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and attitudes that may be useful in the position offered in question . But they should limit themselves to that: they should not enter the subject's personal life unless it is essential for the exercise of the position.
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What questions are illegal in a job interview?
Sometimes, the questions posed by the interviewer may go beyond these limits and refer to aspects that have nothing to do with the functions of the job or the skills of the individual. These questions are illegal because they violate the right to privacy, in addition to being able to suppose discrimination and exclusion for reasons unrelated to one's professional competence.
Among the aspects that should not be questioned are marital status, sexual orientation, expectations of having physical characteristics or not (unless it is a necessary requirement for the position in question), the presence of physical or mental illnesses, the race of belonging or nationality, religious or political beliefs (including information on where one is militated, in the event that do) or details of personal life irrelevant to the exercise of the profession (the fact of asking examples of situations where you have had to use a skill required for example) is not included.
In this way, questions as frequent as, and you, want to have children in the near future? or are you married? They are illegal. If other aspects are to be evaluated from these questions, other strategies should be used. Even something as seemingly innocuous as age is not relevant (the same does not apply to professional experience).
And is that These questions can generate a bias that leads to discrimination for ideological reasons, of gender and sexual orientation or of race or religion, which is against the established by law. For this reason, although we can decide to answer them, we also have the option of denying ourselves without having to harm us. It is also possible to file a claim with labor inspection, which may result in a penalty or fine to the company or company in question.
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Why do they do them?
Due to the high prevalence of this type of questions, it is legitimate to ask the reason for its realization.
In some cases they can be done simply to observe the candidate's reaction before the question in question. It should be taken into account that it is a selection process and, taking into account the importance of the attitude when carrying out a specific project, observing how a subject behaves in a strange situation or an uncomfortable or unexpected question can serve to elicit the way of thinking and acting in the face of pressure or surprise.
In these cases the content of the response is not relevant, but what would be assessed would be the way in which the candidate answers it or even the way in which it is not answered. That does not mean that it remains an illegal question.
However, in the vast majority of occasions what is intended with these types of questions is simply to obtain direct information regarding the person's life to do so. try to predict your productivity . For example, if a woman is pregnant or plans to have children in the near future the company may think it is better to hire someone who does not have such plans, avoiding aspects such as granting maternity leave or looking for possible substitutes.