This month saw some positive news from the BBC: UK job vacancies rose at the fastest rate for eight months in March 2012, led by the IT and computing sector, and permanent staff placements rose for the third month in a row.

This is very welcome news for a nation in a double-dip recession, and will hopefully lead to more money flowing into savings accounts and more debts paid off. This is particularly welcome news for those looking for jobs, but it is as important as ever to prepare for your interviews. There is plenty of advice about what to say and how to prepare, but some interviewers may break the rules in their questioning. Here are some tricky elements that everyone should be aware of before an interview:

Health
An employer cannot ask any questions regarding health during the interview phase. This includes how many days one was absent from the previous role due to sick leave. After a job offer has been made, employers can ask for general information to ensure the person can fulfil the role. They cannot ask for a medical record of the employee or medical information without their permission.

Other Questions Not Allowed
An employer cannot ask about a person’s age, sexual preferences, religion, nationality, language ability or marital status. The rule of thumb is that people should be judged only on their experience and education and not on other factors that may lead to bias. Often employers will avoid a direct question about age by asking: ‘How long do you think you have until you retire?’ This is against the law too.

Storing Information
In the US, some employers ask interviewees for their Facebook passwords. Luckily, in the UK people are protected by the Data Protection Act of 1998, which deems it excessive and unnecessary to give this much information to your employer or potential employer. However, there is no limit to how long they keep your CV on file. Employees can request to have these records sent to them at any time.

It is vital for job-seekers to be aware of their rights during the interview process. Reading the fine print of contracts and employment agreement is always a good idea too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment. You can contact Peter Millikin either through his Google+ account or via his websites.

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