Interviewing: Methods and Avoiding Liability in Texas

interviewing is a primary step in the hiring process and should not be done carelessly. This article describes different methods for interviewing and offers information on avoiding liability.

Before the Interview

Before you hold an in-person interview, make sure you pre-screen the candidate to maximize hiring efficiency.

Interviewing Methods

There are a few types of interviewing styles. They include:

  • Stress Interviews; in which the candidate is tested on his or her ability to handle situations through use of sarcastic or argumentative behavior
  • Informational Interviews; in which the interviewer ensures the candidate’s resume is consistent with reality by asking questions about the candidate’s experience and education
  • Behavioral or Competency Interviews; in which the candidate is asked to supply examples of past situations as a predictor of future performance

The most popular and effective include behavioral and competency questions. I have included an interview question worksheet in my resources section. You may use this form as is, or modify the questions to suit your purposes.

Interviewing and Avoiding Liability

As mentioned in an earlier post about rejecting job candidates and avoiding liability, you want to be very careful when hiring. You do not want to invite accusations of discriminatory hiring.

Be sure to avoid any questions regarding the following topics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marital/family status

These topics describe protected classes, and protected classes are covered under federal and state anti-discrimination laws. No hiring decisions, including hiring, compensation, promotions, termination, and rejection can be based on any of these factors.

During and After the Interview

Make sure you have a copy of the candidate’s resume and cover letter (if applicable) in front of you when holding an interview.

If an interview candidate appears particularly exceptional, ask him or her to come back for a second interview. During the second interview, have the candidate interview with multiple members of the department he or she will work with. This will give the department a chance to assess whether the person will be a good cultural fit. Give all evaluators copies of an interview.