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11 common interview questions that are actually illegal

Charles commented; Sometimes being casual and not formal enough during interviews can lead to mistakes.”

11 common interview questions that are actually illegal

By Vivian Giang, Business Insider

During job interviews, employers will try to gather as much information about you as possible, mostly through perfectly legal questioning, but sometimes through simple yet illegal questions. It’s up to the interviewee to recognize these questions for what they are.

Any questions that reveal your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation are off-limits.

“State and federal laws make discrimination based on certain protected categories, such as national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disabilities, arrest and conviction record, military discharge status, race, gender or pregnancy status, illegal,” Lori Adelson, a labor and employment attorney and partner with law firm Arnstein & Lehr, tells Business Insider. “Any question that asks a candidate to reveal information about such topics without the question having a job-related basis will violate the various state and federal discrimination laws.

“However, if the employer states questions so that they directly relate to specific occupational qualifications, then the questions may be legitimate. Clearly, the intent behind the question needs to be examined.”

If you are asked any inappropriate questions, Adelson advises not to lie, but, instead, politely decline to answer. “Could they not give you a job because of that? Sure. But if they do, they would be doing exactly what they’re not supposed to do.”

We compiled the following illegal interview questions that are often mistaken as appropriate from Adelson and Joan K. Ustin & Associates, a consultant firm specializing in human resources and organization development.

1. Have you ever been arrested?
An employer can’t legally ask you about your arrest record, but they can ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Depending on the state, a conviction record shouldn’t automatically disqualify you for employment unless it substantially relates to your job. For example, if you’ve been convicted of statutory rape and you’re applying for a teaching position, you will probably not get the job.

2. Are you married?
Although the interviewer may ask you this question to see how much time you’d be able to commit to your job, it’s illegal because it reveals your marital status and can also reveal your sexual orientation.

3. What religious holidays do you practice?
Employers may want to ask you this to see if your lifestyle interferes with work schedules, but this question reveals your religion and that’s illegal. They can ask you if you’re available to work on Sundays.

4. Do you have children?
It is unlawful to deny someone employment if they have children or if they are planning on having children in the future. If the employer wants to find out how committed you will be to your job, they should ask questions about your work. For example, “What hours can you work?” or “Do you have responsibilities other than work that will interfere with specific job requirements such as traveling?”

5. What country are you from?
If you have an accent, this may seem like an innocent question, but it’s illegal because it involves your national origin. Employers can’t legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you’re authorized to work in a certain country.

6. Is English your first language?
It’s not the employers’ lawful right to know whether a language is your first language. In order to find out language proficiency, employers can ask you what other languages you read, speak or write fluently.

7. Do you have any outstanding debt?
Employers must have permission before asking about your credit history. Similar to a criminal background history, they can’t disqualify you from employment unless it directly affects your ability to perform the position you’re interviewing for. Furthermore, they can’t ask you how well you balance your personal finances or inquire about you owning property.

8. Do you socially drink?
Employers cannot ask about your drinking habits, because it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For example, if you’re a recovering alcoholic, treatment of alcoholism is protected under this act, and you don’t have to disclose any disability information before landing an official job offer.

9. When was the last time you used illegal drugs?
It’s illegal for employers to ask you about past drug addiction, but they can ask you if you’re currently using illegal drugs. A person who is currently using drugs is not protected under ADA. For example, an employer may ask you: “Do you currently use illegal drugs? What illegal drugs have you used in the past six months?”

10. How long have you been working?
This question allows employers to guess your age, which is unlawful. Similarly, they can’t ask you what year you graduated from high school or college or even your birthday. However, they can ask you how long you’ve been working in a certain industry.

11. What type of discharge did you receive in the military?
This is not appropriate for the interviewer to ask you, but they can ask what type of education, training or work experience you’ve received while in the military.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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Top Recruiters identified as Top Trainers

Core Competency #10 – Ownership of Results and Training

by on Jan. 1, 2007
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When I was 24 years old, I was a leadership trainer as a young a naval officer. I taught Deming management methods (Total Quality Management) to thousands of officers and sailors in Norfolk, Virginia. W. Edwards Deming, one of the pioneers of contemporary management thought and a business legend in Japan, said that all managers must commit to continuous improvement. Everything can always get better, no matter how good it already is.

Success in executive search is dependent upon getting the right knowledge and applying it in the right sequence with the right frequency, the right amount of intensity, and positive intention. But unless you are taking ownership of your own training, you’ll never figure out how to improve. You’ll never get better. When it comes to continuous performance improve-ment, training must be a core competency.

I’ll never forget the time I heard Brian Tracy, my favorite sales trainer, say that leading performers of sales organizations all have one thing in common: they buy their own books and CDs, pay their own way to conventions and meetings, and invest regularly in their own personal development. In other words, they take full ownership of their results and are always actively looking to improve their performance.

His words challenged me to see how much I could pour into my little gray brain about the business. I would seek out industry seminars and attended every one I could find. I would fly to go to see Peter Leffkowitz, Danny Cahill, Charles Wadlow, Gene Rice and Jeff Cohen, Tony and Barb Bruno, Doug Beabout, and many other great trainers. I purchased every video by Steve Finkel and Tony Byrne, read every book by Bill Radin, and got my hands on everything I could find related to our wacky industry. I became a sponge for knowledge and wanted to soak up as much industry-related material as I could.

Here are eight ideas that will help you integrate this model of success into your desk:

1. Commit to continuous and never-ending improvement. There is a risk in doing this because when you take this step, you are telling the world that you don’t know it all. This requires a healthy self-confidence level without the fragile and over-inflated ego. Impossible for a few in our business who let their egos take over their hearts and attach their self-worth to how much they make. But if you develop a healthy sense of selfworth and can admit you can still learn something, then, you are beginning your journey to greatness.

2. Identify those variables which determine success and are the predictors leading up to it. What constitutes success in your office? Figure it out and get it on paper. Interviews, offers, acceptances, fees, billings, number of clients, etc.

3. Begin to measure the appropriate ratios between the variables that count. Anything that is measured generally improves over time.

4. Set a budget of what you intend to invest in training. Perhaps you can make this a percentage of your monthly income or quarterly revenue. For every dollar you invest in training, you should expect to get at least ten dollars back. Start with one percent of your revenue or income, then, go to two percent, then three percent each month. Remember that the more you invest in your own personal and professional development, the more you will get back from it.

5. Attend meetings with others who are on the same path that you are on. Join a group or meet regularly with other colleagues who are top producers. Because the search business is so intense and depends so much on nuance and subtleties, it’s imperative that you plug in with a group of people who can support you and where you can support them.

6. Set training goals for yourself for the year, and break them down into weekly goals. How many CDs do you want to listen to? Which ones? Which books do you wish to read? Anytime you see a book you want to read, buy it and keep it in a stack to go through when you have the time. Go to the bookstore with a $100 bill and buy as many sales books or books on personal development as you can.

7. Find a mentor to guide you in your growth. It could be a manager, friend, co-worker, or even a professional coach who works in our industry like Gary Stauble.

8. Change the way you view training. I just returned from a trip where I spent the day training two very large MRI offices in Dallas. Both of these organizations possess a culture of achievement and share a positive outlook on training. This perspective on learning and training can transform a good recruiter into an amazing recruiter. (For a special report on developing a low-cost training program, email me at [email protected]).

Success is deliberate and intentional and does not occur because of random chance. There is a method and a process to it. The sooner you start to find out what creates success, the sooner you reap the rewards. Start today and adopt this model of ownership to your own development. Do it today. Do it now.

http://www.fordyceletter.com/2007/01/

 

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Time Magazine Article, HP’s Mark Hurd: Who Will Hire the Ousted CEO?

Nearly two weeks after the Hewlett-Packard (HP) board ousted Mark Hurd, CEO of the computer and printermaker, the whole ordeal is still raising more questions than it has answered. An internal probe about a sexual-harassment claim against Hurd, made by marketing consultant Jodie Fisher, concluded that Hurd did not violate HP’s sexual-harassment policy. Yet Hurd paid Fisher a settlement. Some ex-employees are griping that no one liked Hurd anyway. Did this situation serve as a cover to get rid of an unpopular, if effective, boss?

Over the next few weeks, more info about the Hurd firing will surely leak out. Some of it might even be scandalous. But the bottom line for HP is that he’s gone. For Hurd, meanwhile, the saga raises even more intriguing questions. Will this guy ever work again? And if so, where?

Executive recruiters agree that unless some more sordid information arises, Hurd will find another gig. “I think Mark Hurd will land another CEO spot,” says Robert Brudno, the founder and managing director of Savoy Partners, an executive-search firm. Adds Brudno, who specializes in CEO recruitment: “There is a shortage of talented operating CEOs. A company with its own flaws might be able to forgive Mark’s. On the scale of what other CEOs have done, this pales in comparison. In the continuum of liars, cheaters and stealers, and someone as clean as they come, he’s somewhere in the middle.” (See why HP had to oust Hurd.)

The middle is not a bad place to be. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hurd has told acquaintances that he received a call about a job the day after he left HP. “I don’t think his accomplishments at HP were phony,” says Brudno. “His predecessor [Carly Fiorina, the Republican nominee in this year’s California Senate race against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer] had a persona that was fed and managed. Hurd didn’t have that. The ability to deliver results without that facade that CEOs put out there is a rare commodity.”

Still, Hurd might have to sit on the sidelines for a bit. No firm wants a fresh p.r. headache. But for any company itching for a turnaround, a Hurd hire might be irresistible. “A year ago, he was unattainable,” says Brudno. “Now, he has a clear motivation to prove everybody wrong.” Given Hurd’s hefty severance package from HP — valued at between $40 million and $50 million — he’s probably hurting more for a second chance than an outrageous salary. Some company can probably get him at a relative discount.

So what companies could use a Hurd? “He seems to be the hard-ass nobody likes,” says one senior IT executive. “He was widely disliked by his senior-management team not just for being hard but because some felt, I think, that he humiliated them in meetings. But maybe this is what it takes for some people to get off their asses. One company which could use a boost is Microsoft. They are the perennial giants who can’t seem to get any mojo in the fight against Apple and Google. Internally, they are in love with techno-speak and complexity but seem to forget the customer.”

This executive has always been impressed by Hurd’s mastery of minutiae. And remember, Hurd did not rise through the hi-tech ranks. He ran an ATM manufacturer before taking over HP and is viewed as pretty versatile. “With Hurd, you wouldn’t be getting a tech guy,” says David Costanza, an organizational-sciences professor at George Washington University. “You’d be getting a reorganization guy, a restructuring guy. His skill set is not in content, it’s in process.” Costanza notes that Louis Gerstner, the man credited with turning IBM from a hardware outfit to a full-service consulting conglomerate, had previously run RJR Nabisco. General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre led a bankrupt company to profitability, though with the help of the government. He used to run AT&T.

Couldn’t a Sears or General Electric or, heck, even a Walmart, use a guy with Hurd’s operational, if not ethical, expertise? Some recruiters insist he might not need a rebound job at a smaller company or a COO-lever position at a bigger place before securing the top job at a high Fortune 500 firm. But no one doubts he can make a triumphant return. “No CEO is perfect,” says Charles Wadlow, President of CRW Executive Search Consultants. “And when something like this happens, there will be a fall from grace. But on Hurd’s overall executive career, I think this is just going to be a little blip.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2011980,00.html#ixzz1oZLIcvMI

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