One of the most interesting parts of my job is conducting hr seminars. I recently hosted an interviewing skills workshop where I met a woman who told me an incredible story. She had gone for an interview at a company and during the interview the manager said, “You talk like you are deaf. Are you deaf?” Holy ADA violation, Batman!
I couldn’t believe in this day and age someone, who absolutely should have known better, would ask such a crass, not to mention, “illegal”, question. Not only did this manager set up the company for legal action, but the damage from a public relations standpoint is immeasurable.
As human resource consultants, we have seen this happen too many times. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases our clients call us after an incident like the one above occurs and the organization is already in “hot water.”
What’s your take away from this situation? Don’t assume your managers know and understand appropriate (and inappropriate) things to ask (and not ask) during the interview process. In light of the ADAAA, now is the perfect time to revisit proper interviewing skills with your managers, supervisors and anyone else involved in interviewing on behalf of your company.
By the way, for those of you wondering how she replied, she responded back, “You talk like you are stupid. Are you stupid?” You go, girl!
Submitted by Dawn Karrer, PHR, Human Resources Consultant with IntegrityHR, Inc.
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