Illegal Interview Questions: “What is Your Current Salary?”

Kinsa Group

Attention Human Resources and Hiring Managers: Before you start preparing interview questions for prospective new hires in the new year, be mindful of specific questions you cannot ask. Did you know there are many states in which it’s no longer legal to ask a candidate about their current salary or pay history, regardless of the position or employer? According to HR Drive’s latest data, asking a job candidate about their pay history is prohibited in Illinois, and the city of Chicago has also enacted a ban on the salary question.

If you can’t ask about salary, how can you establish fair pay? Read more here.


Don’t fret: There are other questions to consider

Now that the money question is off the table, what should you ask a prospective employee?

When preparing to interview a possible candidate for a position in the food and beverage industry, consider these:

1) How has your previous experience prepared you for this position?

Keeping the focus on the candidate’s work history, this question allows the candidate to explain how their knowledge and training will help your food and beverage company. It also gives them an opportunity to share how your role will advance their career. If they tout leadership skills and problem-solving abilities, it can help the hiring manager determine compensation.

2) How much on-the-job training did you receive for your current position, and how much do you expect you would need for this new role?

This speaks to how quickly the candidate can learn and adjust to new responsibilities, and whether or not they’d need more direct supervision when starting a role at your organization. It also establishes a baseline for how deftly they might address challenges at work.

3) What type of benefits are you seeking?

Does the candidate expect full paid medical insurance, or are they prepared to contribute? Are they looking for a 100% company match to their 401(k), or just the ability to make their contribution? Do they want a flexible schedule, or are they looking for a more traditional work schedule? This speaks to their ability to fit into your company’s structure, helping identify candidates who might not fit.


How can you create a competitive compensation package? Read more here.


Still unsure how to proceed? Review Kinsa Group’s 2020 Food and Beverage Salary Guide for more insight on salary medians and ranges by job category and title across the US.
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