Hiring has never been harder. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from asking more and more questions, forcing employers to make hiring decisions with less and less information. To stay on the right side of the law, employers should be mindful of these basic interviewing do’s and don’ts.
General Interviewing Guidelines
Be Prepared to Offer Reasonable Accommodations for the Interview
Employers have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to enable applicants with disabilities to participate in a job interview. Accommodations may include: an accessible interview location for people with mobility impairments, a sign language interpreter for a person who is deaf, a reader for a person who is blind, or modified testing for a person with a learning disability. You may not refuse to hire an applicant because you believe the company will not be able to provide the same accommodation if the applicant is hired.
Prohibited Questions During the Interview
Questions about “protected categories” are generally off limits. Here are a few acceptable and unacceptable examples for New Jersey employers:
No questions about criminal history until after a first interview is completed.
Do not ask applicant for social media passwords or user names, what social media sites they use, or to show you their social media postings.
About the Author: Mark Diana is the managing shareholder of the Morristown office of Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm representing employers of all sizes in New Jersey and nationally.