Planning on recruiting staff? Avoid these illegal questions

Recent research by SEEK has found an alarming four in ten job candidates have been asked illegal question during an interview.

The research revealed 18-35-year-olds were most likely to be the target of illegal questions, which included being asked about their ethnicity and marital status. Those least likely to be asked illegal questions were candidates aged over 55 years.

The most common illegal questions asked in interviews are: Age (24 per cent), Marital Status (18 per cent), Intentions to have children / Parental status (12 percent), Tattoos (7per cent), Disability (7 per cent) and Cultural/Nationality/Ethnic Background (7 per cent). 

Surprisingly an overwhelming 82 per cent of those surveyed said they had answered an illegal question when asked. Of those candidates who were asked illegal questions, 62 per cent were offered the job while 38 per cent were passed over. 43 per cent of the candidates who failed to secure the role believed their answer had impacted the outcome.

Employers wishing to avoid asking inappropriate questions and employees hoping to prepare more effectively for a job interview should check out SEEK’s Practice Interview Builder.

This tool allows candidates to select questions (under Motivation, Behavioural, Situational, Skills-based categories) or add in their own, and then download into an interview template to practise from. 

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.


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