Off-limit interview questions

When interviewing candidates, always make a list of interview questions and make sure every question asks for job-related information that will help in the selection process.  Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of an applicant’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. Some state laws also prohibit discrimination based on factors such as marital status or sexual orientation. Every question you ask should somehow relate to this central theme “How are you qualified to perform the job you are applying for?”

To avoid the appearance of discrimination, do not ask like the following:

  1. Are you married? Divorced?
  2. How old are you?
  3. Do you have children? If so, how many and how old are they?
  4. Do you own or rent your home?
  5. What church do you attend?
  6. Do you suffer from any illness or disability?
  7. Have you had any major illness recently?
  8. How many days of work did you miss last year due to illness?
  9. Are you taking any prescription drugs?
  10. Do intend to get married? Start a family?

If a candidate reveals information that you’re not allowed to ask, don’t pursue the topic further. The “she/he brought it up” excuse won’t fly in court, so change the subject right away.

This is not an all-inclusive list of off-limit interview questions.

Our HR Consulting team has the knowledge and expertise to help you and your business navigate the complexities of Human Resource. Please contact Kara Garibian or Drema Foster if you or your business needs assistance with Human Resources.