Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

6 Interview Question Topics Employers Should Avoid

By Anthony Hughes | Oct 21, 2014 | Assessing Applicants

If you’ve never interviewed anybody before, don’t worry, everyone has to start somewhere.  However, it doesn’t look good to the candidates if the interviewer is more nervous than they are!

To help you along, we’ve put together a list of 6 topics and job interview questions that employers in the UK should avoid.  Hopefully they will help the interview go more smoothly and make you look like you’ve been interviewing applicants for years.

Interview Question Topic 1: Age Discrimination

In accordance to age discrimination laws, do not ask a candidate about their age, date of birth or how long they see themselves working to retirement in the case of older people.

Only ask age related questions if there is a minimum age required for the position, such as “Are you over 21?”

Interview Question Topic 2: Sexual Orientation

Job interview questions which include asking about the sexual preference of the candidate is not allowed as this would fall foul of sexual orientation regulations.

Interview Question Topic 3: Marital Status

Avoid asking questions about the interviewees’ marital status or whether they have or are planning a family soon, although you can ask if their family responsibilities could interfere with their attendance at work.

Interview Question Topic 4: Cultural Issues

You must not ask the candidate questions about place of birth, ethnic group, race, native language or religious views or affiliations based on their name or appearance.

You must only interview on the merits of their expertise for the job, and where the candidate comes from or their religious view should be irrelevant.  Exceptions may be made if expertise in a certain culture or language is necessary for the role, but approach with caution.

Interview Question Topic 5: Disabilities or Illnesses

Asking candidates about any disabilities or illnesses is another hurdle for the interviewer. For example, asking whether a person has a disability or whether the disability would affect their ability to do a job would be discriminatory. And don’t try and disguise is by saying ‘When did you last visit your doctor and what was the reason?’

If the candidate does withhold information that can have a direct bearing on their ability to perform a job, this is legitimate grounds for dismissal at a later date.

Interview Question Topic 6: Previous Criminal Convictions

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a candidate who has spent convictions (most are spent after five years) as these do not have to be disclosed, unless applying for senior roles in banking or the financial services industry.

- Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes

Anthony is a recruitment veteran of 18 years and is also one of the original founders of Coburg Banks. He now trains recruitment consultants on the best methods to utilise when sourcing and assessing applicants for their clients. 


> More blog posts by Anthony Hughes

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