Oh my … At the school where I work, prospective teachers applying for positions don't just go through a typical interview with an administrator or two. We bring them in for a full day from 8:00 until 3:30. Over the course of the day, they take a campus tour, observe a class or two, and interview/meet with a ton of people on campus. Many of us, therefore, participate in "interviewing" of the candidate in a variety of ways. I went through this ordeal of a hiring process and have participated in the process as an "interviewer" on a good number of occasions. The other day, however, the person on campus responsible for oversight of the hiring process sent out an e-mail that fleshed out the entire hiring process, but this is the part that gave me reason to pause:
IT IS ILLEGAL TO ASK ABOUT … religion, family, sexual orientation, race, illnesses, transportation, lifestyle, age or ANYTHING personal unless the candidates bring up the topic themselves. Once they bring up a topic, you can include it as part of your discussion. Always let the candidate lead the discussion when the topic is of a personal nature. It is OK to ask questions about previous jobs and preparation for this job.
Hmmm … below is the list of questions to which I've always wanted to know before hiring a new co-worker along with some necessary revisions in red that I've just tossed in off the top of my head:
Are you a 'mo? (for males) Do you watch a lot of HGTV, Bravo, TLC, or Style Network programming? Are you a 'bo? (for females) Do you watch a lot of DIY Network programming? Or the alternate: Gosh … It's as hot, today, as it was when I was attending the LPGA Dinah Shore Tournament in Palm Springs last month … Are you a Jesus freak? Do you prefer mimosas or bloody mary's when you're feeling parched at Sunday brunch?
Do you eat things that used to have faces? (Apparently vegetarianism isn't on the list of prohibited topics so this one stays which is good because people who don't eat animals get sick too much and therefore require the rest of us to sub their classes a lot).
Are you planning to pop a bun in the oven any time soon? (for females) Did you see the big sale they had last weekend at Baby Gap? (Though pregnancy is not explicitly on the prohibition list above, I suppose that this one might fall under the "family" category so probably will need to be revised so as to not bring on suspicion and lawsuits.) If your children get sick, are they old enough to stay home by themselves so the rest of us won't have to sub into your classes? I noticed that you drive a beautiful SUV. Do you use the back seats for your … "dogs" or do you do a lot of antiquing on weekends??? (Another gray area "family" question). How old are you anyway? So what music videos did you watch with your friends in high school? Ed Sullivan? The Safety Dance? Thriller? Anything by Bananarama? Janet Jackson's Runaway? Hey Ya!?
Fat Burger? In-n-Out? Carl's Jr.? Mickey D's? Jack's? Tommy Burger? Tom's? Wendy's? Rally's? KFC? or Del Taco? This one isn't prohibited, and it gives us a lot of useful information about the candidate's values and world view.
Tell us a little about some of the things on your Facebook, MySpace, Vox, Flickr, Youtube or other page(s) that worried parents will e-mail us about in the event that we bring you on board for next year? Again, not prohibited! And since the number of young teachers who can easily answer "really … there's nothing" to this question, there is safety in numbers. In a few years, parents won't bat an eye about finding pictures of their child's math/science/English/etc. teacher flashing. her college aged boobies in Cancun during her Spring Break 2009 vacation photos. I'm guessing we'll be able to drop this question all together in less then five years and besides, anyone who knows how to get video of themselves winning the wet t-shirt contest in Cancun from their cell phone to their computer and finally uploaded to Youtube must have many of those very coveted 21st Century Learning skills!!!