Wayne State University

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3.0.10 Pre-Employment and Promotional Interviewing

DESCRIPTION

The following policy has been established to ensure all university job applicants equal opportunity for employment or promotion. Federal statutes and court rulings have established that certain interview questions are discriminatory and therefore illegal under certain circumstances.

POLICY

Information not relevant to job performance which is required for post-employment or promotion is obtained after the applicant has been selected for employment or promotion. (See the following table for Pre-Employment and Promotional Interviewing Guidelines.)

Pre-Employment & Promotional Interviewing Guidelines

There are some questions that are commonly asked during pre-employment and promotional interviews which may be considered discriminatory if they have no bearing on the applicant's ability to do the job. Even if the information is not used in applicant selection, these questions tend to discourage women and minority groups from applying for positions.

Staff members conducting interviews should be aware that such questions could be used as evidence in discrimination charges against the university. The following examples are representative of the type of inquiries which, if not relevant to the applicant's job performance ability, may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or other laws aimed at achieving equal employment opportunity for all.

The following examples are guidelines to help identify potentially discriminatory questions.

 

 

POSSIBLE DISCRIMINATORY INQUIRIES

NON-DISCRIMINATORY

INQUIRIES

AGE

Applicant's age or birth date except as required by University policy (see APPM section 3.0.9, Employment of Minors).

Whether applicant meets minimum age requirements for employment as established by state and federal laws.

ARREST RECORD

The number and kinds of arrests of an applicant.

Actual convictions which may relate to fitness to perform job for which being interviewed.

BIRTHPLACE AND RESIDENCE

Birthplace of applicant, birthplace of applicant's parents, spouse or other close relatives; birth certificate or naturalization or baptismal certificate; inquiries into foreign addresses that would indicate national origin except as required by federal statute (see APPM section 3.0.12, Verification of Employment Eligibility).

Applicant's place of residence; length of applicant's residence in state and/or city where the employer is located.

CITIZENSHIP

Any inquiry to determine the country in which the applicant holds citizenship if other than U.S., except as provided above (see APPM section 3.0.12, Verification of Employment Eligibility).

Whether the applicant is in the country on a visa which permits him to work.

CREED OR RELIGION

Applicant's religious affiliation, church, parish, or religious holidays observed.

 

FINANCIAL

Applicant's financial status or credit record unless proven to be a business necessity.

 

GARNISHMENT

Applicant's garnishment record.

 

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

Any inquiry into height and weight of applicant, except where it is a bona fide occupational qualification.

 

LANGUAGE

Applicant's mother tongue; language commonly used by applicant at home.

Language(s) applicant speaks and/or writes fluently if related to applicant's qualifications to perform job.

MARITAL AND FAMILY STATUS

Whether applicant is married, single, widowed, female applicant's maiden name; number and age of children or dependents; questions about child care arrangements; questions concerning pregnancy.

If applicant can meet specific work divorced or separated; schedules. "Have you been known by any other names?"

MILITARY

Applicant's military experience other than U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserve Units. Questions about type of discharge.

Military and educational experience in the U.S. Armed Forces as it relates to a specific job.

NATIONAL ORIGIN AND ANCESTRY

Applicant's lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, parentage, nationality; nationality of applicant's parents or spouse.

Language(s) applicant speaks and/or writes fluently if related to applicant's qualifications to perform job.

ORGANIZATION

All clubs, social fraternities, societies, lodges, or organizations to which the applicant belongs other than professional, trade, or service organizations.  Photographs before hiring.

Applicant's membership in any union, professional or trade organizations.

RACE OR COLOR

Applicant's race or color of applicant's skin, eyes, hair, or any other question related to race or color.

 

REFERENCES

The name of applicant's pastor or religious leader.

Names of persons willing to be a professional and/or character reference for the applicant.

RELATIVES

Names and/or address of any relative of applicant, or questions asked to determine friends or relatives of applicant employed by the University, except as required by University policy (see APPM section 3.0.3, Family Employment).

Name and address of person to be notified in an emergency.

SEX

Sex of the applicant, unless a bona fide occupational qualification. (Courts interpret very narrowly.)

 

NAME

Original name of applicant whose name has been changed by court order or otherwise. Inquiries that would indicate applicant's lineage, ancestry, nationality or origin.

Applicant's full name. "Is any additional information relative to a different name necessary to check references?" If yes, explain.

DISABILITY

Inquiries re: individual physical or mental condition or handicap.

"Are you able to perform (specific identifiable tasks) necessary to perform (identifiable essential functions) of this job?"

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Inquiries re: previous history of substance abuse, if individual does not have a current substance abuse problem

" Do you currently have a substance abuse problem?" "Are you currently using illicit drugs?" "Are you currently in a drug rehabilitation program?"

For further information concerning whether or not specific interview questions may be asked, contact Employment Services or the Office of Equal Opportunity.