As I watched The Intern at a local movie theater today, I cringed as only an HR Practitioner can at the interview scenes / questions / onboarding as Robert DeNiro’s 70 year-old character is interviewed and then hired for a position as a Senior (Citizen) intern at an e-commerce company based in Brooklyn, New York:
- Do you remember what your major was in college (e.g., it was too long ago)?
- How old are you?
- It’s the job, it ages you – which wouldn’t be great in your case.
- Don’t feel you have to dress up – old school?
- It’s good to know there’s another “oldie but goodie” here.
- I’m glad you also see the humor in this.
- You’re not as old as I thought you were.
All of the above, while on the surface engages the audience as movie dialogue, is unfortunately fodder for an ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) lawsuit. In other words, please don’t engage in the above conduct in your real-life workplace / business, as it can create an expensive hit to your organization’s bottom line. Notwithstanding the cultural values vacuum such conduct creates.
How will you avoid hiring compliance landmines in business and at work?