Academy Medical Services

You Can Be Wrong Too: The Worst Questions to Ask Your Job Applicants

Blog AMS 9-26

The interview process is an opportunity for employers to gain helpful insight into a prospective employee’s ability to fulfill the requirements of the position they are currently recruiting for. However, this is not an opportunity for potential employers to take advantage of the interviewee by asking unnecessary questions. Whether illegal, insulting or antiquated, there are several questions to avoid asking during interviews:

  •  Have you ever brought a lawsuit against a previous employer?
    • Questions similar to this, along with questions related to age, gender, sexual orientation, race or health/personal issues are not only unethical and illegal, but they could also insult your potential employee.
  • What work experience do you have?
    • Asking applicants this question demonstrates a lack of work on your part. Look over their resume prior to the interview to gain insight into their work experience, and gain an understanding of their background.
  • Are you able to handle the workload of this position?
    • Hypothetical questions like the one above are a waste of your time and the applicant’s. Workloads can vary depending on the task at hand. Any answer you receive will not be based on actual experience, and will provide little insight.
  • What were your previous salary amounts?
    • Unless applicants are completely comfortable being transparent with their salary history, questions inquiring about salary can make applicants feel uncomfortable.
  • If you were offered this position, would you accept?
    • This question is useless. If the applicant were not interested in the position, they would not have applied for the job in the first place. Avoid this question altogether.
  • What is your biggest weakness?
    • This question has been used so extensively that it has become a cliché. Think of more creative questions to help your applicant discuss how they have overcome adversity.

To make your company’s job interview process smooth, lawful and enjoyable, avoid using the above questions in your next interview and train all employees on what questions they should or should not be asking their own applicants.


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