Curry’s electrical store was recently in the media spotlight when candidates for a sales position with the electrical store informed the media that they were asked to dance to a Daft Punk song during the interview.
The candidates said they were left feeling humiliated and degraded as a result of this exercise. Curry’s has publicly apologised and offered to re-interview all candidates. Employers have become more creative with their interview questions and techniques partly due to an increase in the volume of candidates applying for advertised positions. While such techniques can assist employers in recruiting the best candidates, employers must ensure that their interview process complies with equality legislation. Employers are not permitted to treat a candidate less favourably than another candidate or apply a requirement or condition that is less easily complied with by a particular candidate on the basis of gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and/or membership of the Traveller Community.
Here are some helpful tips to assist employers preparing for interviews:
- Draw up a job and person specification.
- Proof check advertisements and application forms to ensure that they comply with equality legislation.
- Ask candidates in advance to indicate if they have any particular requirements to enable them to attend at the meeting.
- Have a gender balance, if possible, on the interview panel.
- Prepare a list of set questions which are relevant to the job.
- Ensure that each member of the interview panel knows what his/her role is and what questions he/she will be asking.
- Follow a similar structure at each interview and ask similar questions where possible.
- Keep detailed interview notes and document the reason(s) for rejecting an applicant.
If the interview process breaches equality legislation, the employer may find itself subject to an equality claim. If the employer is found to have discriminated against a job applicant on any of the nine prohibited grounds mentioned above, it can be ordered to pay compensation of up to €12,700. Such a decision can also lead to unfavourable publicity. To prevent this occurring, employers are advised to arrange for those involved in the interview process to have equal opportunities training and to ensure that a robust equality policy is in place.