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Category Archives: Interview Tips

Interviews and Discrimination. Are you breaking the law without realising it?

Is it legal to ask someone if they are married in an interview?

Do you know the answer?

An article recently published by Recruitment Grapevine made us here at 4 Leisure Recruitment wonder if all employers really know. We, of course, know the answer, but it’s clear that without the right knowledge of HR and the law, many companies are leaving themselves open to action.

The article discusses how in order to prevent being asked again at a job interview what her marital status was a young lady chose to wear a fake wedding ring to avoid the subject. Yet the lady in question should never have felt that she needed to avoid the subject as her marital status is her own private business. Indeed, the right to keep it private is protected by discrimination laws.

In a standard conversation when meeting someone for the first time, openers to get the conversation going may well include:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Are you planning a family?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you smoke?

Yet all these questions are classed by the government as ‘protected characteristics’ and if you question a candidate about these and many others including religious beliefs and nationality you can be classed as discriminatory and they are therefore illegal.

Another ‘protected characteristic’ that many employers may not realise is protected is that of a candidates’ age. Simply asking a candidate who has submitted a CV and omitted their date of birth, how old they are can be seen as a form of discrimination in an interview situation. Equality and diversity monitoring forms ask for anonymous voluntary contributions from candidates regarding nationality, ethnicity, gender and age, but these are indeed ‘voluntary’. Age can be asked of a candidate where the job itself has an age-related boundary, such as serving alcohol.

Job interviews and discrimination If you are new to employing staff and are enjoying getting to know the candidates, please bear in mind your legal duties as governed by discrimination laws. You cannot discriminate against a candidate because she (or he) has children and will be using childcare. You cannot discriminate against a candidate because they smoke, and you cannot discriminate against a candidate for their religious beliefs. Disability and health can only be questioned if ‘there are necessary requirements of the jobs that can’t be met with reasonable adjustments’. ACAS recommends that all persons conducting interviews be trained and are aware of the relevant laws, but when you operate a small business and are doing the recruiting yourself it may seem a lot simpler than it actually is.

Interviews are indeed a tool to be used to get to know the candidate sat in front of you. They are a wonderful opportunity to let the candidate prove to you they will fit in with your team and they are exactly the right person for the job. It is also an opportunity for employers unaware of employment and discrimination laws to edge into trouble unwittingly and to lay themselves open for a discrimination claim.

Interviews are a great tool when used the way they are intended, which is to ascertain if a person is the right person for the job. If you are new to or in need of a refresher about what you can and can’t legally ask a candidate, then check out

The ACAS website is an invaluable tool for all employers. Have a look at

ACAS have produced a booklet specifically aimed at helping businesses ensure they conduct themselves within the realms of the law which you may also find useful – you can see it at

Alternatively, you could just move all your recruitment needs to a leisure recruitment team who put your needs and those of all candidates first in everything we do! #Love4Leisure

How to get a job in the leisure industry

Leisure jobsGetting a job, any job these days can be a struggle. If you’re looking at getting your first job, it can seem overwhelming. Getting a job in the leisure industry is actually not that different to getting a job in another industry. You go through common application and selection procedures. There’s no secret to it, but the trick is where to look and who to butter up!

If you’re looking for a job in the leisure industry, here’s some advice from us

  • Sign up to recruitment websites. Use Twitter and Google to find suitable recruitment websites and sign up to email alerts, and follow them on social media. *hint hint* >> you can sign up to our email alerts here. With smartphone technology available, there’s no excuse for not at least knowing about the latest vacancies. Local authority job sites are also a good source of leisure jobs. A large proportion of leisure centres are owned by local authorities and you’ll need to go through the official source for a number of their vacancies.
  • If there’s somewhere specific you’d like to work, then send your CV to them and enquire about the possibility of a job in the future. For advice on creating your CV, please use our free CV builder.
  • Lack of experience is something that may be holding you back. Summer jobs and part-time weekend jobs are ideal for building up experience. Being a lifeguard is a good entry-level role, so look for lifeguard jobs if you fancy it. Don’t be afraid to take a job outside of the leisure industry. Some work experience in an unrelated or partly-related industry is better than none.
  • Volunteering is a good way of building up experience and contacts. Coaching a youth sports team, or helping out at a play-scheme shows employers that you are passionate about leisure and gives you something impressive to put on your CV.
  • Use your current contacts. Speak to your team coach about your desire to work in leisure. Maybe they’ll know someone who can help you out, or point you in the right direction. They might even be able to let you help them run things to gain some valuable first-hand experience.
  • Get qualified – Find out what qualifications current leisure industry staff hold and get them yourself. The NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguard Qualification) is essential for working as a lifeguard, and a first aid certificate is handy too. If you want to work in fitness training a qualification such as an NVQ Diploma in Instructing Health & Fitness is desirable, although take care because some qualifications need you to be in a job first so that assessments can be carried out. Speak to your careers adviser if you’re not sure.
  • Be aware you will probably have to undergo a DBS check for a lot of leisure jobs, especially those which work directly with members of the public. For more information, please check out this website.
  • Once you’ve managed to bag yourself an interview, get active! The interview is probably the most crucial part of the recruitment process. Mess it up at your peril. Read our interview tips to help you get that much-wanted leisure industry job.

Good luck!

Dress for interview success!

As a specialist recruitment company, we are often asked for our advice on dressing for success, particularly for an interview. While it would be nice to say that your appearance doesn’t matter and that recruiters and employers judge you on your obvious skills, we know that this is not the case. We highly recommend all recruits pay close attention to their appearance, whether they are applying for a job as a lifeguard, a beauty therapist, or as a senior manager!

It can be confusing to applicants in the leisure industry – those who already have jobs as lifeguards, or personal trainers, or beauty therapists obviously don’t wear business suits. It is said that you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have. This is great advice if you happen to work in an office based role or similar, but is terrible advice for anyone else. You may want to work as a zoo keeper, but it doesn’t mean you should turn up to interview in overalls and wellies!

We say you should always err on the side of caution in an interview situation. You should wear smart clothing. It must be clean and neat. Most leisure industry jobs are public facing and the employer needs to know that you know how to present yourself appropriately. The keyword here is “appropriately”. If you work in creative industries, for example as an advertising executive, or fashion designer, then you need to give the employer the impression that you are not overly mainstream and are an appropriate person for creative thought and practice. In leisure, it’s all about self-presentation. It’s highly appropriate then to be smart, clean, and tidy, and show that you have taken some care and effort for the interview.

First impressions are essential – people will often form a snap judgement about you before you’ve even sat down. You need to look professional for others to take you seriously as a professional – so that also means no chewing gum, and taking off your sunglasses please!

Clothing is highly important, but don’t neglect your hair and face. Men should be clean-shaven, or at least have tidy facial hair! With jewellery, less is more. If you smoke, please wait until after the interview to avoid clinging aromas.
So remember this……..

Dress for interview success

There is some more brilliant interview style advice here from Forbes Magazine. Yes it’s American but some advice is universal.

This video, also from the US, features a HR professional and a business stylist who share great tips for dressing appropriately for work and the importance of dressing to impress at an interview. Advice that stands the test of time.

And if you’re looking abroad for work? This article from Recruitment Buzz could be vital.

Good luck!



The Importance of Employer Branding in the Recruitment Process

Traditionally, the focus of an interview is for an interviewer to find try to find out if an interviewee is right for their business. But what messages are interviewers relaying to potential candidates about their company and do those messages reflect positively on the business?

Are you mirroring your company’s brand values and vision when you interview?

Full article:

Personal Branding: Do I need it?

If someone asked you what your Personal Brand looked like, could you tell them? And even if you could, would it help you get a job? Here at 4Leisure, we’re all in favour of being able to sum up your essence in a nutshell but here’s an interesting article on why you should have a Personal Brand prepared, just in case….

Some of Our Clients