Managers urged to curb humour during interviews

HR managers have been urged to play it straight during job interviews, after a Glasgow-based manager was put on the sex offenders register after a ‘joke’ backfired.

Neil Gouldson, employment lawyer at Manchester law firm Rowe Cohen, said the case should serve as a stark warning to employers:

Saeed Akbar, – a £25,000-a-year interpreter – was also given three years’ probation for trying to conduct a job interview naked.

He then claimed he had done it because he was bored.

“Although this is a very unusual case, bosses should still beware of trying to make any jokes during an interview,” he said. “Employees are becoming ever more litigious so it’s vital that employers tread carefully when interviewing.”

The consequences of offending a candidate in an interview can be extremely serious, Gouldson warned. “Don’t ask questions about sexuality, personal life, religion or politics,” he said. “You might be called upon to prove that you’ve acted with propriety – so keep the files.”

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