Did you know there are specific interview questions you should not ask newcomers to Canada or any job candidate? This is because provincial human rights laws, which exist in 10 provinces and three territories in Canada, govern most employees in Canada. These cover prohibitions that are the same as the Canadian Human Rights Act, which, on the other hand, safeguards the employees who work in the federal sector.
Suppose it’s your first time interviewing a job candidate who is a newcomer. In that case, you may want to know inappropriate questions to “avoid getting into trouble with human rights tribunals,” says Cissy Pau, a principal consultant of an HR consulting company in Vancouver.
Now, what are these inappropriate questions? Read and keep them in mind before doing an interview:
“Are you married?”
Asking about a job candidate’s marital status is inappropriate or illegal. This is because when you ask a question like this, it could be perceived that you would decide whether to hire the applicant based on their answer. Either you want to know their availability to work longer hours, or you do not plan to hire a married applicant because you feel their responsibilities may affect their work performance. Remember that their marital or family status is not relevant to the job they are applying for; their skills and work experiences are.
“Do you have any disabilities?”
This question is discriminatory in nature. You can ask the candidate if they can do the tasks needed to perform the job, e.g. standing for extended periods or lifting heavy objects. Never ask about their overall physical or mental health status because this would imply that the answer to the question would matter in your hiring decision.
“How old are you?”
One would think this is a simple question that requires only a simple answer. So, why is asking such a question deemed illegal when you have no sinister motive? It’s considered to be discriminatory because it suggests that age matters in your hiring process. Ask yourself if the question is relevant to the job requirement or the needed information.
“What religion do you practice?”
Again, this question does not relate to their capacity to complete the work. You may have no bad intention behind asking this, but then again, you may be accused of discrimination.
Other interview questions you should not ask newcomers to Canada are related to the country of origin, citizenship status, race or ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, and appearance. In addition, you must note that you should only ask questions that would provide information about the job candidate’s ability to perform the job.
Now that you know the questions to avoid, you may start posting your job.