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The Selection Process

After you’ve put together a pool of candidates who—at the very least—meet the minimum qualifications for the position, the recruiting process is essentially complete. At this point, the selection process can begin.

The Employment Application

In most cases, candidates submit résumés during the recruiting process. (This may not be true for all positions, such as for certain entry-level positions.) From the candidate’s perspective, résumés are essentially advertisements that are designed to get the candidate’s foot in the door. This statement is actually quite literal because the candidate’s goal at this point is to be invited for an interview.

In addition to requesting a résumé, most organizations require candidates to complete an application form, usually before being interviewed. Like all other recruiting and selection tools, the application must seek information that is job related and that is valid with respect to its ability to predict the applicant’s ability to successfully perform the position.

Types of Employment Applications

Employment applications provide a means for ensuring that all candidates present information about their work history, education, and experience—in a consistent format. Be careful on this point, however, especially if the same organization operates in different states in which different laws might be in effect. In addition, different types of applications are sometimes used for different types of positions within the same organization. This practice is generally considered to be permissible as long as similarly situated applicants are required to complete the same type of application form at the same point in the selection process.

Short-Form Employment Applications

Short-form employment applications are shorter versions of an organization’s standard employment application. In this sense, the word “short” is used in a relative sense; even the short-form application could still be several pages in length.

Short-form employment applications may be used as a prescreening tool or for certain “lower-level” positions within the organization that require fewer, less complex, or less technical skills. Short-form employment applications could also be used at an early phase in the selection process. In this case, candidates who progress to a later stage of the selection process might be required to complete a longer application at that time.

Long-Form Employment Applications

Long-form employment applications require candidates to provide more detailed and comprehensive information.

Job-Specific Employment Applications

Job-specific employment applications are sometimes used when an organization does high-volume recruiting for a particular position or for particular types of positions. In such cases, the application would be tailored to seek highly specific and relevant information pertaining to the specific position or job category for which the candidate is seeking employment.

Weighted Employment Applications

Weighted employment applications are intended to facilitate the process of evaluating candidates’ qualifications in a consistent and objective manner by assigning relative weights to different portions of the application. These different weights will vary depending on the relative importance of each section, as determined by the requirements of the position.

Critical Parts of the Employment Application

Whatever type of employment application an organization chooses, many applications share a variety of elements. As such, the application will often require the candidate to provide information relative to the following areas:

  • Personal data (name, address, contact information)
  • Education
  • Training
  • Credentials/certificates/job-related skills
  • Employment history (including organizations, dates of employment, titles, supervisors’ names, and reasons for leaving prior positions)
  • Names of professional references
  • The candidate’s ability to provide proof during the first three days of employment of her identity and eligibility to work in the United States (in the event that she is hired)

The application also serves as a vehicle to formally secure permission from or communicate information to the candidate—and to require the candidate to acknowledge the granting of that permission or the receipt of that information by signing the application. Examples of this might include

  • Permission to verify information provided on the application.
  • Permission to check references (former employers, supervisors, or professional references).
  • Employment-at-will statement. This statement articulates and reaffirms that in almost every state the organization can terminate the individual’s employment at any time, with or without cause. Most employment applications also confirm and articulate that the employee also has the right to leave the organization at any time, with or without notice.
  • EEO statement (and, if applicable, affirmative action statement).
  • Acknowledgement that the organization reserves the right not to hire the candidate if it is determined that he has provided any information that is not truthful.
  • Acknowledgement that the organization may, or will, terminate candidacy or employment if it is determined (before or after the candidate has been hired) that she provided any information on the application that was not truthful at the time the application was completed.

Interviews and the Interview Process

From the perspective of the candidate, the purpose of a résumé is to get a job interview. From the perspective of the organization, the purpose of a résumé is to decide whom to interview. Taking this a step further, the purpose of an interview is to collect information that will enable the interviewer and the organization to determine the degree to which each candidate possesses and demonstrates the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other job specifications required to successfully perform the position.

Interviewing is one of those skills that many people learn by observation or through independent practice. Unfortunately, however, this skill is too critical to be learned through osmosis—in other words, the “sink or swim” approach doesn’t always work. Sometimes what happens instead is that interviewers will learn to swim but will swim poorly (and perhaps even risk drowning —themselves, and maybe even others). In addition, sometimes the people whom new interviewers observe (and emulate) may not be skilled in the process.

Increased knowledge about and skill in interviewing can have a significant impact on the quality of the selection process.

Styles of Selection Interviews

Interviews fall into two primary types of styles—directive and nondirective.

  • Directive interviews: Directive interviews take a more structured approach by asking consistent questions of all candidates. The interviewer maintains control of the interview—despite the fact that candidates sometimes make significant attempts to seize that control away from them.
  • Nondirective interviews: Nondirective interviews are relatively unstructured. The candidate, not the interviewer, ends up guiding the interview and therefore ends up controlling the flow and content of information.

Types of Selection Interviews

There are a variety of selection interviews. In this section, we’ll look at some of the better-known types of preemployment interviews:

  • Phone interviews
  • Prescreen interviews
  • Behavior-based interviews
  • Stress interviews
  • One-on-one versus panel/team interviews
Phone Interviews

Sometimes organizations choose to conduct a short phone interview before deciding whether to bring a candidate onsite for a face-to-face interview. This can be particularly helpful in surfacing legitimate job-related “knock-out” factors that could either cause the employer to decide to eliminate a candidate from consideration or that could cause a candidate to self-select out of the selection process. Factors that might be discussed could involve job requirements (such as overtime or work conditions), salary requirements, or basic technical knowledge or skill, just to name a few possibilities.

Prescreen Interviews

In many organizations, HR conducts initial prescreening interviews with candidates. The purpose of prescreen interviews is to determine which candidates meet specific job requirements—the same ones that were identified in advance. This can include the process of verifying that the candidate actually meets the minimum requirements for the position and establishing whether the candidate meets other specific fundamental requirements. (We have used the word “actually” in light of the recognition, once again, that a résumé might be more “story” than “history.”)

Behavior-Based Interviews

Behavior-based interviews require the candidate to describe past experiences that demonstrate the degree to which he possesses the knowledge, skills, and behavioral characteristics that are required to successfully perform the position for which the candidate is applying.

Behavior-based questions ask the candidate to describe a specific situation in which he demonstrated a particular job requirement. In his responses, the candidate should describe the situation, the specific way in which he behaved in the situation, and the outcome that resulted from his actions.

Stress Interviews

During stress interviews, the interviewer (or interviewers) deliberately creates a high-stress environment in an effort to ascertain how the candidate would respond in a high-stress work situation.

One-on-One Versus Panel/Team Interviews

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, organizations choose to conduct panel or team interviews—interviews in which more than one interviewer interviews a candidate at the same time. Panel interviews can save time and money. They can also backfire. To help ensure that panel interviews are successful and productive, keep the following ideas in mind:

  • Let the candidate know ahead of time that she will be participating in a panel interview. Eliminating the element of surprise will help prevent additional unnecessary anxiety.
  • Plan—even choreograph—the interview in advance. Make sure all participants know their respective responsibilities. Plan who will ask which questions and how probing follow-up questions will be handled. Arrange for “hand-offs” from one interviewer to another, much the same way as is done during a team-based television newscast.
  • Consider the seating arrangements. If possible, interview in a room that has a round table. If you must interview in a room with an oval or rectangular table, position the chairs in a way that creates the feeling of a round table. At all costs, avoid placing all the interviewers on one side of the table and the candidate on the other side of the table. It is also best to avoid placing the candidate at the head of the table when there are multiple interviewers, as this can lead to a “tennis match” need to continually look from one side of the table to the other.

Key Components of Selection Interviews

An interview is part science, part art, and part architecture. The interview process must be carefully structured to support its overall purpose: to provide the interviewer and the candidate with information that can be used to make accurate assessments and, ultimately, sound decisions. The interviewer needs to assess the degree to which the candidate possesses the qualifications for the position. The candidate needs information to make an informed decision about whether to join the organization in the event that an offer of employment is extended. And, throughout all of this, interviewers have to be careful not to give away the answers before they even ask the questions. (This becomes particularly important when an organization uses a sequential interview process.)

Although there is no single best way to structure an interview, the following presents one effective approach.

1. Establish Rapport

It’s important to help the candidate feel welcome at the beginning of the interview. Establishing rapport through a warm greeting, an offer of a glass of water, or brief “chit chat” about the weather can help the candidate to relax—and, in turn, hopefully summon more candid, honest responses.

2. Ask Primary and Probing Questions

Primary questions are asked of all candidates for a particular position during a particular interview process. They are designed to elicit relevant information about how well the candidate possesses and can demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and behavioral characteristics required to perform the position successfully.

Probing questions are the follow-up questions to those primary questions. Because they are asked in response to each candidate’s initial response to a primary question, probing questions will vary from interview to interview. Interviewers can still ensure consistency, however, by only asking probing questions that relate to the original primary question. Don’t get derailed by an evasive candidate, an interesting tangent, or a candidate’s inability to answer the original primary question.

3. Invite the Candidate to Ask Questions

After you have finished asking your primary and probing questions, invite the candidate to ask you any questions she might have. It is important to provide this opportunity only after you have asked your questions to ensure that the candidate does not obtain information from you that will enable her to better answer your questions. In other words, as already mentioned, interviewers need to be careful not to give away the answers before they even ask the questions.

4. Realistically Describe the Position and the Organization

Provide each candidate with complete, honest, realistic, and consistent information about the position and the organization. Ensure that you share information in a consistent manner with all candidates—those in whom you preliminarily think you might be more interested, as well as those in whom you think you might be less interested. “Pitching” the position more positively or enthusiastically to one candidate over another could raise questions later about why you did not share information in a consistent manner and why you chose to encourage or discourage particular candidates.

5. Close the Interview

In that same spirit, end all your interviews in a consistent and nonjudgmental manner. Let the candidate know what will happen next in the process, and provide the candidate with a reasonable time frame during which he can expect to hear back from you. Make no promises, offer no assessments, and provide no “feedback” relative to how the candidate performed during the interview. An interviewer’s role is one of information gatherer, not career counselor (at least with respect to external candidates). And any career counseling for internal candidates should take place after the interview/selection process is completed—not during the actual process.

Essential Intrapersonal/Interpersonal Skills Required to Conduct an Effective Interview

Within this structure, interviewers must bring the interview to life. They must use their skills—interpersonal and otherwise—to attain a variety of goals, including ensuring the following:

  • All needed information is obtained.
  • All interviews are conducted in a consistent manner and yield consistent information.
  • The interview is positive, upbeat, and affirming and does not assume a robotic tone.
  • The rapport that was established at the beginning of the interview is maintained—or, as necessary, rebuilt—throughout the interview.
  • They do not allow personal feelings or biases that are unrelated to the position to enter into the interview process.
  • They remain within both the letter and the spirit of the law.

The following section highlights some of the skills essential for conducting an effective interview.

Intrapersonal/Interpersonal Skills

Listen carefully, attentively, and effectively. Paraphrase what you hear the candidate saying. When you do, preface your statements with phrases like these:

  • “What I think I hear you saying, and please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken, is...”
  • “So what I’m getting from you on this point, and please let me know if I’m on track with this, is...”
  • “Let me know if I’ve heard this correctly... ...”

In this way, you actually give the candidate permission to correct your understanding (something that most candidates are probably reluctant to do). You invite them, essentially, to tell you if you’re wrong. This approach—and any clarifying information that you elicit from candidates—will help you attain your objective of ensuring that you leave the interview with an accurate understanding of each candidate’s qualifications for the position.

Nonverbal Communication Cues (“Nonverbals”)

Observe each candidate’s nonverbal behavior. When you notice a significant change in that behavior, pay attention and consider probing for more information around whatever question the candidate was answering when that change occurred. Be careful not to assign specific meaning to any specific gesture. For instance, folding one’s arms across one’s chest may not necessarily mean that a candidate is distant, aloof, or “hiding something.” In reality, it may simply indicate that the candidate is cold (literally, not figuratively). And be careful that any probing questions you ask remain strictly job related. Curiosity has the potential to land an employment interview in hot water.

It’s also important to be aware of the messages that you may be transmitting to candidates through your own nonverbal behavior. Try to convey openness through your posture and movements. Deliberately use your nonverbal communication cues to encourage the candidate’s engagement. Make sure you do not unintentionally communicate any sort of judgment—either positive (for example, through nodding) or negative (for example, through a frown or furrowed brow).

Take Notes

During the interview, jot down keywords or phrases that the candidate offers in response to your primary and probing questions. If you leave whitespace in between your list of questions, you’ll have a convenient place where you can jot down keywords that pertain to the specific questions you are asking. Be careful not to take too many notes—this could detract from your connection with the candidate. You can—and should—go back after the interview is complete to fill in any gaps and details that will provide a more complete picture around the key words that you already wrote down.

Manage Your Biases: Individual, Organizational, and Societal

Although we each have the right to think or feel however we choose, we don’t always have the right to act on those feelings. This is particularly true in an employment context and with respect to interviewing. Interviewers are human beings, and, like all human beings, we have biases. However, we should not make—and are often barred by law from making—assessments or decisions that are based on those biases rather than on predetermined job-related factors.

As interviewers, it is incumbent upon us to vigilantly recognize how our individual biases could taint our assessments and decisions. Biases at the organizational level—and even at the societal level—could also affect our assessments and must be recognized, managed, and set aside.

Interviewers must develop the ability to recognize and eliminate from consideration factors that are not job related when making employment-related recommendations and decisions. These factors can relate to legally protected classes, such as a person’s race or religion, or could relate to things that are (for the most part) generally unrelated to the law, such as a candidate’s appearance, personal mannerisms, name, or even cologne.

Manage Your Biases: Interviewer Errors

Another category of interviewer bias warrants attention. These biases essentially constitute “errors”—meaning “errors in judgment”—that are sometimes made by interviewers. Interestingly, these errors are similar to those that are sometimes made by HR professionals or managers during the performance management and appraisal process. Learning to address and prevent these errors up front, therefore, can yield benefits throughout the entire employment life cycle. Table 2.2 describes some types of interviewing bias.

TABLE 2.2 Interviewing Bias or Errors

Types of Interviewing Bias or Errors

How It Manifests Itself in the Interviewing Process


The interviewer compares candidates to each other instead of comparing them to the requirements of the position.

Although it is essential to eventually compare candidates to each other, this comparison—by itself—can be misleading. Even the “best-qualified candidate” won’t necessarily meet the requirements of the position. Becoming professionally enamored with a candidate because he is “the best of the bunch” could result in a substandard hire, and, ultimately, an unsatisfactory hiring decision. Before comparing candidates to each other, therefore, interviewers should compare each candidate’s qualifications to the requirements of the position.

First impression

The interviewer places an inordinate level of emphasis on the impression that the candidate makes on her during the first few minutes or even seconds of the interview.

It has been said that “first impressions last.” Although the impression may last, that impression may be incorrect. At best, it is incomplete. Interviewers need to remind themselves that good candidates, at times, get off to a slow start during the interview. So, too, poor candidates may initially appear quite polished and impressive.


The interviewer evaluates the candidate disproportionately positively on the basis of one outstanding and impressive qualification or characteristic.

This evaluation, however, is often incomplete and inaccurate. One positive quality or qualification—no matter how impressive it may be—is not reflective of all of the KSAs required to perform a position successfully.


The interviewer evaluates the candidate disproportionately negatively on the basis of one poor qualification or characteristic.

This evaluation, however, is often incomplete and inaccurate. One negative quality or qualification—no matter how unimpressive it may be—is not necessarily reflective of all of the KSAs required to perform a position successfully.


The interviewer applies an inappropriately lenient standard to one or more candidates resulting in a higher overall assessment of the candidate.

Being “nice” to one or more candidates doesn’t help the organization and is unfair to the candidate.

Instead, an organization needs to hire qualified candidates to fulfill its mission and attain its overarching objectives. Extending offers to unqualified or less qualified candidates as a way of being “nice” undermines those efforts.

In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that a candidate who is invited to accept a position for which she is not truly qualified is, in one sense, being set up to fail.


The interviewer applies an inappropriately harsh and demanding standard to one or more candidates, resulting in a lower overall assessment of the candidate.

Being “strict” with one or more candidates doesn’t help the organization and is unfair to the candidate.

An organization needs to hire qualified candidates to fulfill its mission and attain its overarching objectives. Eliminating qualified candidates from consideration because of unrealistically high standards undermines those efforts.

A candidate who is denied the opportunity to join the organization and perform a position for which he or she is truly qualified can end up with a negative impression of the organization. If enough candidates have an experience such as this and share it with enough individuals, the organization’s reputation in the labor market could ultimately end up being damaged.


The interviewer recalls the most recently interviewed candidates more vividly than candidates who were interviewed earlier in the process.

Again, this error allows unfairness to enter into the process. The random scheduling of candidate interviews should not result in any candidate being unduly favored or discounted.


The interviewer evaluates a candidate on the basis of how much that candidate is similar to, or different from, the interviewer.

If interviewers recognize characteristics or attributes in candidates that they dislike about themselves, this recognition—whether conscious or unconscious—can have a negative impact on how the interviewer evaluates the candidate. Conversely, if interviewers recognize characteristics or attributes in candidates that they like about themselves, this recognition—whether conscious or unconscious—can have a positive impact upon how the interviewer evaluates the candidate. Either way, the impression is personal in nature, unrelated to the candidate’s qualifications, and is therefore inappropriate.

Legal Considerations for Interviewing and Selection

Interviewers need to be cautious not to wander intentionally or unintentionally into areas that present potential legal pitfalls.

The following tables (Tables 2.3 through 2.6) provide examples of questions you might consider asking during an interview and why they’re permissible or not. It also suggests some questions you might want to ask instead.

TABLE 2.3 Rapport-Building



Potential Considerations/Concerns

Possible Alternative Phrasing

Your last name, Doe-Soprano-Rodriguez, is interesting. I’ve never seen a double-hyphenated last name before.



May elicit information about national origin. Depending upon state/ local laws, may elicit information about marital status.


Likely to elicit information that is not job related. May allow the interview to get “off track.” Less-than-optimal use of time.

There is no lawful way to rephrase this question. Instead, ask a different rapport-building question.

What a unique and interesting tie/pin. Is there a story or some special meaning behind it?



May elicit information that could reveal membership in a protected class, including (but not limited to) national origin, race, disability, marital status.


Likely to elicit information that is not job related. May allow the interview to get “off track.” Less-than-optimal use of time.

There is no lawful way to rephrase this question so that it is more appropriate. Instead, consider asking a different rapport-building question.

How was your trip here today? Were the directions okay?


This is a permissible question.


The weather has been so warm lately, hasn’t it? Maybe there really is something to this “global warming.”



Speaking about weather is fine. Speaking about the climate, climate patterns, or global warming, however, introduces an issue that is more charged —politically, as well as emotionally.


Likely to encourage conversation that is not job related and that may touch on strongly held beliefs that are irrelevant to the job.

“Is it still as humid outside as it was this morning?”

So, tell me a little bit about yourself.



Open-ended and nondirected, the question may unintentionally invite self-disclosures that could reveal membership in a protected class.


Likely to elicit information that is not job related. May allow the interview to get “off track.” Less-than-optimal use of time. Potential for “halo effect.”

Think about what types of job-related “broad-based” questions might be more effective.

TABLE 2.4 Job Qualifications



Potential Considerations/Concerns

Possible Alternative Phrasing

What type of military discharge did you receive?



Unlawful to ask about the type or condition of military discharge.

There is no lawful way to rephrase this question.

Candidates, however, can incorporate relevant skills and knowledge that they have gleaned from their military experience as they answer primary questions (that are being asked of all candidates for the position).

We strongly encourage associates to maintain work/life balance. To that end, what was the title of the last book you read that was unrelated to your work?



The titles —and contents —of books that a candidate reads could reveal information relative to membership in almost any protected class.


Likely to elicit information that is not job related.

May allow the interview to get “off track.”

Less-than-optimal use of time. Potential for “halo effect.”

If the interviewer is concerned about ascertaining whether candidates for employment have maintained professional currency, ask a primary question like this, “Based on your review of current literature, what do you see as the top three challenges facing our industry/profession?”

I see that your name is Garcia-Menendez. Do you speak Spanish? Some of our clients are Spanish speaking.



Likely to elicit information related to national origin.


If fluency in Spanish is required for the position, all candidates should be asked the same primary question about their proficiency in this area.

“This job requires the ability to read, speak, and write Spanish fluently. Can you meet this requirement of the position?” (Ask of all candidates at the same point in the interview process.)

I noticed that you are on the Board of the American Cancer Society. What skills have you developed from that role that could enhance your qualifications for this job?



The interviewer “opens the door” for the candidate to share information that could reveal membership in a protected class.


Does not maintain a level playing field, as a question such as this does not give all candidates the opportunity to showcase relevant skills and qualifications (regardless of the volunteer activities that a candidate chooses to put on a résumé).

Likely to elicit information that isn’t job related.

May allow the interview to get “off track.”

Less-than-optimal use of time. Potential for “halo effect.”

Candidates can incorporate relevant skills and knowledge that they have gleaned from volunteer or community experience as they answer the primary questions that are being asked of all candidates for the position.

It is more advisable to avoid asking specifically about any particular job or organization listed on a résumé —instead, consider allowing candidates to make their own meaningful, relevant connections.

Are you prevented from becoming legally employed because of visa or immigration status?



May reveal information relative to national origin (on a preemployment basis).


Framed in a negative way.

“If hired, would you be able to prove your identity and eligibility to work in the United States?”

TABLE 2.5 Job Requirements



Potential Considerations/Concerns

Possible Alternative Phrasing

This job can require up to 30 hours of mandatory overtime each week, after regular business hours. Can you meet this requirement of the position?


This is a permissible question.


This job requires some unplanned, but mandatory, overtime. To be quite candid, we’ve found that some associates with child or elder care responsibilities find this difficult. So, can you meet this requirement of the job?



Specifically links the job requirement to child/elder care responsibilities, which could elicit information revealing membership in a protected class (and that is unrelated to the job). That, in turn, could subsequently lead to an allegation of discrimination on the basis of gender or some other protected class.

“This job requires some unplanned, mandatory overtime. Can you meet this requirement of the position?”

This position requires periodic unplanned overtime. What would you do if you were called at home on the weekend and told to be at work within one hour to work the overnight shift?



The interviewer “opens the door” for the candidate to share information that could reveal membership in a protected class.


Likely to elicit information that isn’t job related.

Hypothetical questions are less effective than behavior-based questions at predicting how a candidate will behave in this actual work situation. Behavioral characteristics play a key role in this job requirement.

First, be clear about what information you are trying to gather from the candidate. If you simply want to know if the candidate is available for periodic, unplanned overtime, ask: “This position requires periodic unplanned OT. Can you meet this requirement of the job?”

However, if you are trying to get at a different behavioral characteristic (such as commitment or loyalty), be more direct with the question you choose to ask: “Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your routine job requirements in response to a workplace situation.”

This job requires lifting 10-pound boxes of paper about four hours each day. Do you have any conditions that would restrict you from meeting this requirement of the job?



May reveal a disability or a condition that could be regarded as a disability.


“Conditions” that a candidate may have aren’t important. What is important is whether the candidate can perform the essential functions of the position for which she is applying (with or without reasonable accommodation).

“This job requires lifting 10-pound boxes of paper about four hours each day. Can you meet this requirement of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation?”

*Please note that an assessment should be made relative to whether the candidate could meet this requirement of the position “with or without reasonable accommodation.” Seek additional assistance/input when making such determinations.

We operate 24/7 with frequent shift assignment changes. Do you have any obligations that would prevent you from working this type of variable schedule?



Likely to elicit information relative to membership in protected classes (such as disability or marital status).


Likely to elicit information that is not job related and which could taint the interviewer’s assessment of the candidate’s overall ability to perform the job.

May elicit information that, although not directly covered by law, could be related or linked to membership in a protected class.

“We operate 24/7 with frequent shift assignment changes, with little or no notice. Can you meet this requirement of the position?”

TABLE 2.6 Marketing the Position



Potential Considerations/Concerns

Possible Alternative Phrasing

Our company is committed to providing associates with the resources they need to grow and cultivates an environment where each associate can reach his full potential.


The language used in this question is factual, appropriate, descriptive, and neither makes nor implies any promises relative to the length or nature of the employment relationship.


Our company makes a significant commitment to providing associates with ongoing learning and development opportunities, enabling them to add breadth and depth to their contributions.


The language used in this question is factual, appropriate, descriptive, and neither makes nor implies any promises relative to the length or nature of the employment relationship.


Our company believes in maintaining a healthy work–life balance, and we offer a wide variety of programs to support that commitment.


The language used in this question is factual, appropriate, descriptive, and neither makes nor implies any promises relative to the length or nature of the employment relationship, nor does it invite self-disclosures that could be unrelated to the job.


For all the tables, the Color column corresponds to the following definitions:

  • Red: STOP! Do not ask this question/make this statement. It is just generally not advisable, and which is likely to invite significant legal risk/exposure.
  • Yellow: Proceed with caution. You may be asking a question/making a statement that could expose you to legal risk/exposure. Ask yourself, what do you really need to know, or what do you really want to say? If what you want to know or to say poses acceptable legal risk to you and to your organization, proceed. If not, ask the question in a different way.
  • Green: Look both ways first, then ask the question or make the statement, as it is unlikely to raise significant legal risk/exposure.

Realistic Job Previews

At some (consistent) point in the interview process, it is critical that candidates be given—and, perhaps more important, process and understand—a realistic picture of the position and the organization. This, in turn, will help the candidate make a realistic and accurate assessment of whether he will be willing and able to function effectively within the day-to-day realities of the position, the department or unit, and the organization. (In other words, it will help the candidate determine whether he is likely to “fit.”)

RJPs can be conveyed and communicated in a number of ways, including through

  • Verbal descriptions of the work, the work environment, and the work conditions
  • Facility tours
  • The opportunity to read the employee handbook
  • Opportunities to speak with current employees, particularly those who would be the incumbent’s peers or colleagues

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Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020