“Francine is a high-flying solicitor now but when she first entered the job market and applied for a medical secretary role, she was asked if she was going to get pregnant and leave”
You have got to take a read of the attached article, I’m still cringing at the absurdity of some of these questions and what worries me more, is that some people still do not know what questions are appropriate or not.
So what questions are inappropriate? It’s difficult to define this under one account but the chances are if it feels inappropriate, there is a chance that it is.
But it begs the question how much should / can your recruiter/ potential new employer really know about you? and what sort of questions should they really be asking?
What I would say is that I am always a believer of asking my candidates to ‘tell me a bit about themselves?’ (i.e. outside of work), It is entirely up to them what they tell me and don’t tell me, but as most of my candidates will tell you, I have always taken genuine interest and care in them, importantly what work will genuinely fit around their lives, needs & wants. The difference is that I have spent more time earning the trust to know I'm asking for the right reasons!
I have listed some examples below along with my thoughts on why these are important… ‘in no particular order’
Tell me about your current business?This is very simple yet I still find many recruiters do not spend enough time covering it off. If you do, you gain a clear understanding of the structure/ environment the candidate is used to being involved within and maybe the areas of that, that have been appropriate to his/her needs.
You have a magic wand, write me your perfect job spec?You can’t go wrong here, you are finding out directly from the horse’s mouth what is important to them or what looks good. Not only that, you’re taking the time to peel back layers to find out what they ‘really really want!’
Can you tell me about your greatest success and your greatest failure? If this question is answered honestly, it should give you a good idea of - A. How well the candidate is prepared for an interview & B.Their genuine feelings on what success looks like and honest feelings on their failures/ how best, they could have done things differently.
What was the best/worst job you’ve had and why? Ultimately, for us to have a good understanding of what a candidate ‘dislikes’ can give us the best idea of what they ‘do like’ and how we can impact that!
What questions do you have for me?How many of you have focused on the me me me?!? Let’s not forget to remember that you are providing them with a service, even if it is free right now!
Mature student Kevin Helton told us: "The interviewer asked, 'You used to be in the Army, how many people have you killed?' "My answer was, 'Depending on the outcome of this interview, the number might change.'"