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  • The Right Questions

    Certain personal questions are off-limits during a job interview. You should never ask a potential employee questions about health, marital status, religion or ethnicity.

    Sometimes, however, the candidate will volunteer this information during the interview. Although you can't force yourself to forget the information, you can steer the interview back to safe waters. Take a look at the following scenarios as examples of how to protect yourself during an interview:

    1. A candidate for a design position tells you he is in charge of arranging the flowers at his church. Instead of focusing on his church-related volunteer activities, ask a question directly related to the position, such as, "It appears you have a lot of design experience. Could you tell me more about your strongest design skills?"
    2. When discussing the benefits available at your shop, a candidate mentions her two young children. As the interviewer, avoid asking the children's ages, any health-related questions, or personal questions related to childcare. Instead, focus the conversation on the shop's benefits with a statement such as, "We offer flexible work hours to all employees."

    Although many of the most informative job interviews will be friendly and conversational, keep them from becoming too personal. That way, you'll protect yourself from accusations of discrimination — and you'll be hiring the right people for the right reasons.


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