Job interview

Job Interview

The job interview is a must for getting a new job. It is an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate their motivation and for the employer to ask all the necessary questions to ensure that they hire the ideal candidate.

Questions and privacy

The job interview is a time when the employee often feels as though he or she is being "grilled". An employer often asks questions that touch on the candidate's private sphere.

Although the company is not yet officially the employer, it is obliged to respect the candidate's personality and private life. Questions about maternity, pregnancy, sexuality or criminal record are in principle inadmissible. They are only permitted in exceptional cases, if they are directly related to the position.

What about an association that is active in the field of contraception and asks questions about the sexuality of future apprentices? Does a future employer have the right to ask a bank employee if he or she has a criminal record? An accountant to produce a statement of prosecution? Such situations are delicate. The extract of a special criminal record will sometimes be more suitable for certain professions.


It is common for curious future employers to "Google" job candidates. This search sometimes holds surprises... The employer may come across photos of drunken nights out or information about the applicant's family situation, political mandates, religion or hobbies.

Does the employer infringe on the candidate's life? Can he refuse to hire him on the basis of this information gleaned from the Internet? This is a delicate situation.


The question of whether the applicant can lie to an employer's question is complex. The candidate's right to lie will depend on the lawfulness of the question.

In some situations, the employee will not be allowed to lie or hide the truth from the future employer. They may even have to disclose certain sensitive information spontaneously, such as their state of health or their criminal record.

On the other hand, the employee will sometimes have the right to lie or refuse to answer questions asked by the employer.

If the employer discovers that the employee lied during the job interview, the employer may feel a loss of confidence in the employee. The employer may want to dismiss the employee.

Depending on the circumstances, ordinary or immediate termination may be warranted. In other cases, where the question asked was unlawful, the employer may be accused of wrongful termination. This is a delicate situation and should be handled with caution.


The candidate's state of health is sensitive personal data and subject to medical secrecy. In principle, the employer may only ask about the candidate's state of health in cases where it may prevent or significantly increase the difficulty of performing the job.

In such a situation, the applicant may even be obliged to inform the future employer of such health problems spontaneously. Otherwise, in serious cases, they risk immediate termination.

Discrimination in hiring

Search for team leader (male), early childhood educator (men abstain)... An employer who refuses to hire a young woman because she wants to have children...

An employer who refuses to hire a candidate because of his or her gender risks having to pay compensation to the rejected candidate based on the equality act. However, in very specific situations, the candidate's sex may be a legitimate reason for refusing to hire. The employer must treat these sensitive cases with caution.


The employer collects a lot of information during the employment relationship, such as work incapacities, the number of children or the employee's behavior within the company.

This is sometimes sensitive personal data that the employer must in principle keep confidential. When a future employer asks for references on a candidate, he must treat this situation with caution. 

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1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon