To Ask or Not to Ask - Interview Questions That Spell Trouble

Posted by Practice Management Institute on Oct 7, 2021 5:08:19 PM
Practice Management Institute

Asking the right questions not only will secure the right talent but will also keep the practice out of legal trouble. Learn the questions you can and can't ask to avoid putting yourself and your practice at risk. What you ask and how you ask matters. 

Interview Questions to Avoid

Before diving in, know that because laws change and vary by state, you should always obtain the appropriate information from the Department of Labor to ensure that the questions you are asking and methods you employ are within the parameters of the law.

Here are a few questions to avoid and why (some of these are obvious no-no's but definitely worth a quick review):

  • “We require you to be here by 8:00 a.m. Is there anything to prevent this, such as daycare?” This question refers to whether or not the applicant has children and is not relevant to employment.
  • “Have you ever been arrested?” A person is not guilty of a crime just because they were arrested. An acceptable question is: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

  • “Where do you go to church?” A person’s religion is not relevant. There is no acceptable alternative. 

  • “Will your husband/wife object to your working late?” This refers to whether or not the applicant is married and is not relevant to employment. An acceptable question is: “Can you work late?”

  • “How old are you?” Unless age requirements exist for the position (for driving, the legal age to work, etc.) the question is not allowed.

  • “What language do you speak at home?” If not relevant to the position, this question is not acceptable. If relevant, an acceptable question is: “What languages other than English do you speak?

  • “Have you ever collected unemployment benefits?” Not relevant to employment. There is no acceptable alternative.

  • “May I have your Social Security Number?” Not required except for verification of form I-9 when a candidate is hired.

Learn How to Recruit & Hire Without Risk

There is much more to hiring than having an interview that passes every compliance check. Learn how to recruit and hire effectively and legally when you enroll in PMI's CMOM program (next live, online training starts Oct. 27th!). CMOM trains current and aspiring medical office managers how to tackle the issues and challenges that come with personnel, practice, and financial management, and compliance. Check out all of the course details and enroll today.

Can't attend Oct 27th? Consider taking the CMOM certification as a self-paced course. 

Need a preview of the course? Join us for a free webinar on How to Prepare for CMOM on Oct 20th. Even if you can't attend, sign up anyway to receive the recording.

Topics: Practice management, medical office manager topics, medical office compliance, personnel management