A few weeks back, I listed out 25 Questions that are illegal to ask during a job interview. This generated a lot of buzz and I had several readers contact me regarding legal ways to get the information they’re seeking. While I don’t condone discrimination during an interview, I do believe that a company has the right to know if someone they’re about to hire will be able to perform the necessary job duties. So here are 20 questions that you can ask to find out if the candidate is a good fit for the job.
Note: these questions are legal assuming they are related to the job.
- We sometimes need to work nights and weekends to support external clients. Would this be a problem for you?
- We sometimes need to work on Christmas day. Would this be a problem for you?
- Are you over 18 years of age?
- Are you authorized to work in the United States?
- Are you able to lift boxes that weigh up to 50 pounds?
- Our workday starts promptly at 8 AM. Is this a problem for you?
- This job requires a lot of heavy lifting. Would that be a problem for you?
- This job is part of an on-call rotation which means that once every two months, you’ll need to be available 24/7 for 5 days. Is this a problem?
- This position requires 20% travel, half of which is international. Is this a problem for you?
- Our busy season is November and most of the people on the team find themselves working as much as ten extra hours per week. Is this something that you’d be able to do?
- We allow our employees to telecommute if they have a quite space in their home to do so. That means a place free of noise and distractions and if they have children, that someone else is taking care of them while the employee is working. Would this be a problem for you?
- Sometimes we need our team members to stay up to an hour later than scheduled on short notice because of unexpected problems. While this happens rarely, would this be a problem for you?
- This job requires standing up for extended periods of time and a significant amount of walking. Would this be a problem for you?
- This position requires you to travel locally both between offices and to local clients. Do you have a valid driver’s license and your own transportation?
- This position requires interaction with minors under 18 years old. Is there any reason that you’re not able to interact with minors?
- Due to government regulations, all people in this position who have access to this data must undergo a background check. Are you okay with this?
- As you can see there are a number of transportation options for getting to the office. Do you have any questions about the various options?
- This job has irregular working hours and your schedule may vary from week to week. Would this be a problem?
- This job requires occasional travel into the city. Is this okay with you?
- We deal with a lot of international clients so as you can see from the job description, fluency in multiple languages is a big plus. Are you fluent in any languages other than English?
Keep in mind that asking some of these question may make the prospective employee reconsider whether they really want to work for you. But on the flip side, it’s more important to know up front is someone is able (and willing) to perform the necessary duties rather than hire them, terminate them and then begin the hiring process all over again. Before asking any of these questions, make sure that you word them in a way so that the interviewee understands why you’re asking them. Doing so will make the job interview go smoothly.