On this page someone answered the question “Do employers waste time interviewing people?” with the following:
often it is to conform to federal guidelines - so they are directed to higher the CEO’s nephew, but they get government contracts so they HAVE to follow the proper forms and pretend to interview for the position, wasting managers, HR and candidates time.
This workplace stack exchange answer contains the claim that sometimes employers interview candidates they don’t want to hire because:
They have an H-1B candidate already lined up and ready to go, and they don't actually want to give the job to anyone else, but are legally required to pretend to look for people. Legally, they're supposed to prefer to hire an American worker if possible, but in practice, the law is very difficult to enforce because the company can always come up with some excuse for why candidate X wasn't good enough. And of course, sometimes the H-1B candidate really is irreplaceable.
I have so far been unable to find any official reference to either government contract requirements or federal laws requiring job interviews. Are either of these claims accurate?