The 3 Ws! “What, Where & WRC”

“What a lovely & unusual name? Where are you from?”

I have been asked this question during interviews when I had interviewed for roles in Human Resources! This type of question could land you at the WRC (workplace relations commission).

Have you ever innocently asked this question at an interview, be it an in-person interview, a video interview or a phone interview? Were you curious to know where the interviewee was from? Were you just trying to be friendly or build rapport? Did you know someone else with the same or similar name and curiosity got the best of you?

Well, you know what they say, curiosity killed the cat! Okay, that is a bit extreme for this content, I know! On a serious note, this type of harmless question could have you and your organisation at the WRC. In fact, this is exactly what happened recently in Dublin. At a recent WRC hearing, a woman was awarded €1500 for being asked this type of question at her interview. She did not get the job. She felt that she was discriminated due to her race and religion and that is why she did not get the job. Subsequently, she decided to bring a case to the WRC. She was awarded €1500. You can obtain more information about this case by clicking this link https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2022/0616/1305307-1-500-compensation-for-woman-asked-about-nationality/

Do you or your hiring managers or interviewers know what questions can be asked during an interview, even the ones that may seem harmless (for example “Do you drive to work?” “Can you work in Ireland?”). Do you know the legal parameters and the do’s and don’ts of interview questions? Do you know what should or should not be in a job posting? Is there anything in your job posting that could be considered discriminatory (for example “must have excellent verbal and communication skills”)?

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Article by Rabia Mirza