Dez Bryant, recently drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, and the GM of the Miami Dolphins, Jeff Ireland, have been discussed all over the talk circuit the past couple days regarding appropriateness of questions during interviews.
If you haven’t heard, Dez Bryant was questioned about his mother’s background during an interview prior to or during the NFL draft. Questions arose around whether Dez’s mother engaged in illegal activities, specificly prostitution.
Callers, pundits, and hosts alike have debated this issue for a couple days, and a recurring theme that has come up is that this question might not be morally respectful but certainly is not illegal to ask.
When companies invest significant money in employees, or put employees in positions dealing with sensitive issues or people, tough questions need to be asked. As Colin Cowherd put it on his radio show, you aren’t going to ask the same questions to someone you are paying $40,000 compared to someone you may be paying $40 million.
While the taste and spirit of the questioning by Mr. Ireland is up for debate, its possible motive is clear; when you have someone who has circumstances outside of the workplace that need to be addressed (in this case, Mr. Bryant lives with his mother), questions need to be asked.
Whether it is to get a gauge on what’s going on in someone’s life that may affect their work, or to get an idea of how someone reacts to difficult situations, or how someone may act in an ethical dilemma, you must ask questions that dig to the core. It’s better to push the envelope and find out what someone is made of then face a scenario where you didn’t do due diligence in an interview to find out the facts.