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Job Interview Mistakes

Job candidates and human resources professionals have the unenviable challenge of conducting productive online job interviews throughout the pandemic.

According to a 2021 Zenefits survey of over 1,000 hiring managers, some common mistakes job seekers are making include:

  • arriving late to the virtual interview or experiencing technical difficulty; consuming food or drink;
  • not having a suitable digital background;
  • criticizing previous employers;
  • using meaningless jargon such as “motivated” or “innovative”;
  • not explaining work gaps; and
  • not asking enough questions about the position or the company.

California hiring managers must also avoid making mistakes of their own, such as:

  • Recording the interview, especially without consent;
  • Asking for salary or criminal history;
  • Requesting social media account access;
  • Obtaining information concerning sex/gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;
  • Requesting date of birth, eye or hair color, or birthplace;
  • Inquiring about race, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information or marital, military or veteran status; and
  • Discussing the applicant’s COVID-19 vaccination status as this could improperly reveal disability-related information.  (Even employers with mandatory vaccination policies should proceed with caution.  The best approach is to state in the job posting and announce during the interview that anyone hired for this position must show proof of vaccination or have valid medical or religious reasons to the contrary.)

Employers should use a standard set of questions for each candidate and periodically re-train interviewers on acceptable and unacceptable employment inquiries.

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
September 9, 2021

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