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Why job interviews need to be effective

By CCIWA Editor 

Many employers give little thought to the interview process beyond filling the vacant position as soon as possible.

But significant and costly liability issues can arise from a poorly conducted job interview as the scope of workplace protection from discrimination under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) includes prospective employees.

If a prospective employee believes they have been discriminated against in the interview or recruitment process they can make a general protections claim.

This type of claim involves significant court costs and if successful, can result in the award of uncapped damages to the prospective employee.

This makes a poorly conducted interview a significant financial risk for employers.

An indirect cost of a poorly conducted interview process can arise if an unsuitable candidate is selected for the position.

This may result in the use of additional resources to train and/or performance manage the employee.

If the employee resigns or is terminated as a result of substandard performance this then means further costs to conduct another recruitment process.

To minimise these risks, it is important that employers plan their interview process carefully.

Firstly, it is imperative that the interviewer has a clear understanding of the position that they are recruiting for including the qualifications, skills and competencies required to effectively do the job.

Also, the interviewer should be able to explain to candidates what the role entails and to answer any questions. This enables candidates to self select in terms of their abilities and interest in the position.

Secondly, employers should prepare questions in advance and ensure that they are relevant to the position requirements.

Most effective in determining suitable candidates are questions related to previous work experience or skills and how these will translate into the requirements of the position on offer.

A combination of questioning techniques including behavioural questions will enable an employer to determine suitability by assessing how the candidate has operated in previous employment.

For further information or advice, contact the CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or by email to

Many employers give little thought to the interview process beyond filling the vacant position as soon as possible.

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