Tips for the Interviewers / Recruiters (Part 2)

Hello everybody,

As promised, part 2 is here. Now I'm going to give you all some insight on how to be a good Recruiter.

Your ability to conduct a good interview will determine your ability to find the best candidate to fill in the position. Remember that not all candidates will be excited and desperate to work with you. Some of them will be in a position where many other employers and companies are trying to hire them because of their talent, intelligence and knowledge. These are candidates you will have to work harder on if you want to impress them. Main motivators that will determine which job they will choose are, amongst others:

• Career Growth and Expectations
• Salary offered at the time of joining, and salary projected for the next couple of years
• Benefits (i.e. what else are you offering them other than money. Not everyone is motivated by money only)
• Work Environment
• Job content
• Challenges presented
• International Exposure

Be sure to highlight all benefits, monetary and non-monetary. However, don't build up expectations higher than what you can give them. For example, at my Company there are possibilities for people to travel to India once in a while. This possibility isn't open to every employee, which is why I can't go and promise every candidate that if they get the position, they will get to travel for a few months. I don't deny the possibility either. I simply tell them there's a chance they might get to travel.
In the globalized World we live in today, International Exposure has become particularly important at the time of selecting a Company where you'd like to work. Be sure to highlight this benefit, as long as it exists in your Company.
The work environment is also important, mainly for young people. They don't want to associate work with suffering and boredom. The work environment as well as the organizational climate work as big motivators, which improve productivity at the same time. If your Company or Team can offer a fresh and different environment, be sure to portray it well in front of the candidate, because this represents big leverage.
Career growth; this can be a difficult point. Let's face it, there are certain positions within companies where there are simply no opportunities to make a career, even for a professional. This is a delicate point, because you still have to make the job look appealing to the candidate. This is where leverage plays a big role. Here you can sell them the Company beyond their position: the climate, the exposure, the prestige, the location. Maybe you will nto be able to use the salary as leverage, but you have to think beyond money.

Now, if you're offering your candidates a position that represents potential growth for their career, then take advantage of this as well and let them know about all the possibilities they have ahead of them if they join you.

When we talk about benefits, as mentioned before, we focus on monetary and non-monetary ones. Always. However, you will sometimes find yourself facing applicants who only care about getting paid and don't give a damn about their career growth or the job they're doing. If you're looking for value adding people, then kindly discard such applicants from your selection process.

Challenges are somethnig that few people are happy about. Most employees will like to sit in their comfort zone and perform the job they do best. Put them in front of a challenge, something unknown and there's a chance they will freak out. When interviewing applicants, test their readiness for challenges, by asking them difficult questions regarding complciated situations or problems they may face on the role. Asl them how they'd feel if their jopb content changed overnight and they had to adjust to performing different tasks. See how excited they sound about it, or how disappointed. In time, you will be able to recognize the adventurous type. But hey, don't get too carried away. You don't want a job hopper either ;). Remember that people who are always looking for challenges and new experience will not be willing to stay in one place for too long.


Questions you should avoid


Let's move on to the type of questions you wouldn't want to ask a candidate during an interview because of their illegal nature in some countries. Let's look at a few examples below:

– Age? Date of birth?

Inquiring about a person's age is considered discriminatory, especially for people above 40 years old. If you want to find out whether someone is “old enough” for a job, then you can find alternative queestions:

Example of Illegal QuestionsPossible Legal Alternatives

How old are you?
 When is your birthday?
 In what year were you born?
 In what year did you graduate from college/high school?

Are you over the age of 18?
 Can you, after employment, provide proof of age?


– Marital/Family Status (often alludes to sexual orientation)

These qustions usually intend to inquire whether there's anything that could provoke tardiness or absenteeism. What makes these questions even more illegal is the fact that they're asked mainly to women. There are other alternative questions you can ask if you want to inquire about this:

Example of Illegal QuestionsPossible Legal Alternatives


Are you married or do you have a permanent partner?
 With whom do you live?
 How many children do you have?
 Are you pregnant?
 Do you expect to become have
a family? When? How many children will you have?
 What are your child care arrangements?


Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?
 Travel is an important part of the job. Do you have any restrictions on your ability to travel?
 Do you have responsibilities or commitments that will prevent you from meeting specified work schedules?
 Do you anticipate any absences from work on a regular basis? If so, please explain the circumstances.


– Personal

Asking a person about their height and weight is discriminatory and should be avoided. Unless the employer can prove that the job to be performed requires a certain height or weight to be executed, such questions shouldn't be asked.

Example of Illegal QuestionsPossible Legal Alternatives

How tall are you?
 How much do you weigh?
(Questions about height and weight are always illegal unless it can be proven that there are minimum requirements to do the job.)

Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as that is part of the job?


– Disabilities

Inquiring about a person's disabilities or health is unlawful. However, if you need to know whether the person will be able to perform the tasks without accommodation, you can modify your questions:

Example of Illegal QuestionsPossible Legal Alternatives


Do you have any disabilities?
 Have you had any recent illness or operations?
 Please complete this medical questionnaire.
 What was the date of your last physical exam?
 How's your family's health?
 When did you lose your eyesight/ leg/ hearing/ etc.?

Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations? (Legal if the interviewer thoroughly described the job.)
 Will you be able to carry out in a safe manner all job assignments necessary for this position?
 Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as that is part of the job?
 NB: Medical exams are legal AFTER an offer has been extended; results should be held strictly confidential except for reasons of safety.

Other illegal questions you should avoid asking:

  • National Origin/Citizenship
  • Arrest Record
  • Military Service
  • Affiliations
  • Race/Color/Religion
  • Credit or Garnishment Record? Charge Accounts? Homeowner?
  • Use or Nonuse of Lawful Products? Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol?

All questions above are irrelevant to the job. If they were relevant in any case, it should be explicitly explained to the applicant and justified by the job description.


I hope this helped!! Stay tuned for another update…