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Can I challenge a "policy" if it is not written anywhere?

(11 Posts)
bunjies Wed 10-Oct-12 08:58:28

I wonder if anyone could help me with a query/situation at work.

I recently had an internal interview but heard this week I was unsuccessful. When asking for feedback from the Recruitment person I also asked to have a copy of the notes/scoring taken during the interview with the questions. She said I could but the questions would be removed. Now, one of the reasons I wanted the sheets was because I couldn't remember all the questions and wanted to remind myself of them and the responses I'd given. You know what it's like when you've done an interview, these things pop out of your head never to return. Anyway, I ask recruitment person why they would be removed and she tells me "it's policy". I ask her what is the reason for this policy and she says ?in case you get the questions again? confused. I say but isn?t this the point of learning from experience? She repeats "it's policy". hmm

So, I look up on the company intranet (I work for a public sector organisation) and find the hiring managers toolkit which states:

The candidate has a right to view their assessment notes. If they wish to exercise this right, they should request access to their assessment notes by sending a written request to you or the Recruitment Consultant


Under the Data Protection Act candidates have access to copies of any documentation that has been prepared about them as part of the selection process. This can include notes, short listing forms, interview notes or decision making documents. It is therefore very important that your notes/documents are up to date, complete, justifiable and fair. The Freedom of Information Act gives anyone the legal right to access information about a recruitment campaign.

On the actual Recruitment & Selection Policy this is all I can find:

The Recruiting Line Manager will offer feedback about the candidate's performance in the selection process. This may be written or verbal, depending on the stage of the process. The candidate must confirm that they wish to receive feedback within 2 weeks of being notified of the outcome of the final assessment stage. Feedback should then be given to the candidate within 2 weeks of the request including the provision of relevant documentation. In cases where candidates are within the same team as the Recruiting Line Manager, feedback should be given on a one-to-one basis.

No where can I find any policy that states that questions used in an interview cannot be provided as part of feedback.

So, can anyone tell me that if such a "policy" does not exist in writing then it is not a policy at all and can be challenged?

I want to go back to the recruitment person and ask her for written confirmation of this policy and should this not be forthcoming then ask for the interview notes with questions.

Any thoughts much appreciated before I make the request.

bunjies Wed 10-Oct-12 08:58:59

Apologies for rogue punctuation - not sure where they came from.

overthemill Wed 10-Oct-12 09:01:41

i think you should be able to have the questions if they are included in the 'notes' - ie did they use a format that had questions listed with them making notes under the questions for each interviewee? in which the answer would be yes.

i think the person you asked is probably nervous in case you go to a tribunal! did a man get the job?

thekingfisher Wed 10-Oct-12 09:03:03

From that - I would forward those parts you ahve copied here and and send them to the recruitment person. I work in HR and have never come across a situation where you wouldn't disclose the questions the candidate was asked.

It is quite possible they haven't followed their own procedures.

I wouldnt ask for a copy of the questions policy just send through what you have done above and say you believe that this would be relevant documentation.

CharminglyOdd Wed 10-Oct-12 09:07:26

I'm afraid I don't have any advice but I think you named your employer in the second paragraph at the end? If so, report your post and ask MN to delete the word. I hope you get a resolution.

flowery Wed 10-Oct-12 09:34:18

Doesn't matter whether it's an internal policy or not, you can still challenge it if it seems unfair or doesn't seem to fit with the Data Protection requirements as you've found in the Hiring Manager's toolkit.

Makes no sense. If you are allowed (as you are) to see your responses, what on earth is gained by them removing the questions?!

If the questions are on the notes, you are entitled to them, as documents about you shouldn't be doctored before being given to you other than if there was something about someone else on there that was private about them.

If the questions were separate, then you are not entitled to see them.

bunjies Wed 10-Oct-12 09:43:35

Thanks CharminglyOdd - have done.

Thanks for the responses. I know it's crazy isn't it? The stupid thing was that when I challenged the person she said well when you get feedback you can ask them what the questions were <smacks head against desk>.

As far as I could tell the questions were cinlouded printed on the same sheet they were writing their notes on so they would have to blank them out.

Lexilicious Wed 10-Oct-12 10:12:18

What sort of an interview was it? e.g. were the questions "tell me about a time when you had to deal with..." or were they "what order should you press the buttons in [xyz] safety process".

My organisation uses the former process because it is considered a better way to assess someone's actual ability, experience and understanding of their role. Asking a question that only gets the candidate to parrot back a process is too easy for people to prep for the test without understanding why.

scaevola Wed 10-Oct-12 10:19:39

Get the feedback you can: then see if from your answer you can remember the question.

As you will not see the assessments of other candidates, what you discover may be of limited use, for it's not just a question of how you did, it's how th rest of the field did too. If you are seeking to improveyour performance, then an appraisal with your current line manager would also be a good thing to request.

Himalaya Wed 10-Oct-12 10:23:36

It sounds like they don't want a crib sheet of the standard questions circulating.

On that basis could you just get the score sheet and then go through it question by question on the phone with the recruiter checking what the questions were i.e. 'that was the one about x' 'that was the one about y' - so they are not giving you the official question list.

bunjies Wed 10-Oct-12 13:24:17

Interview was competency based so of the "tell me about a time you...." variety.

I need to email them about getting the notes so will mention the above and see what they say.

Thanks all.

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