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Germany: Where Its (sometimes) Ok To Lie In Job Interviews

01 May 2013


Immigration News

Telling untruths is generally seen as a no-no during an interview for a job, but in Germany it is allowed – occasionally.

This situation was described this morning by Dr Bernd Joch, an employment lawyer at German law firm SKW Schwarz, speaking at a social media and employment law briefing, hosted by City law firm Kemp Little, attended by Recruiter.

As in many jurisdictions, under German law you may not ask interview questions about issues including pregnancy, family life or any ongoing investigations about the candidate.

He says that questions such as prior criminal history, disability or security clearance are also “problematic”.

If a candidate is asked any such question, they are allowed to lie and say they are definitely not going to have children or do not have a disability, Joch says, because if they responded truthfully they know they might face discrimination.

“As long as a question under German law is not allowed… the employee can lie like hell without any consequence!”

However, he went on to say that there were not quite any ‘zero consequences’. If an employee says at interview that he has no disability, but is then dismissed from his role, he may then mention the disability, which affords him greater legal protection.

Joch also describes that there is a gap between theory and practice around using private social media to run background checks on prospective employees in Germany.

Asking clients recently if they did it, Joch reports responses of “of course we do, why shouldn’t we, no one would find out”. While warning that there are penalties if that information is used incorrectly, he suggests it is likely that 80% of the HR professionals in the room did access such information.

Source: http://www.recruiter.co.uk/news/2013/04/germany-where-its-sometimes-ok-to-lie-in-job-interviews/


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