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Home > Ten Questions Not to Ask in an Interview

Ten Questions Not to Ask in an Interview

When interviewing a job candidate, the goal is to learn as much as possible about the applicant’s previous work experience. Interviewers are often curious about the prospective employee’s habits and personal life. There are many legal ramifications to being too nosey. What follows is list of 10 questions not to ask when interviewing and an explanation of how the questions could lead to problems. Keep these in mind during your next interview.

  1. How is your health?
    Under the ADA, a bona fide medical examination can explore legitimate interests of the employer such as safety or job qualification, but only after a conditional offer of employment.
  1. What country are you from?
    The Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibits discrimination based on alienage. Employers must verify that the applicant is not an illegal worker, but the ICRA spells out how to do this.
  1. When did you graduate?
    Age discrimination is illegal.
  1. Can you work on Saturday?
    This one is not automatically a problem, but be aware that religious discrimination is illegal. and that employers must make reasonable accommodations for employee religious beliefs. If this question is needed, be sure to volunteer that an effort at reasonable accommodation would be made.
  1. How much do you weigh?
    Obesity can be a disability under the ADA. If not really important to qualification, height and weight questions have no place in the job application process.
  1. Have you ever been arrested?
    An arrest is not a conviction, and doesn’t prove much without one. Some states make in unlawful to consider convictions unless the offense relates to qualifications.
  1. Have you ever been injured at work?
    The ADA makes it unlawful to inquire about an applicant’s past history of workers’ compensation claims at the pre-offer stage.
  1. Have you ever sued anyone?
    It is illegal to retaliate against an applicant for having participated in a case concerning many kinds of unlawful employment actions.
  1. Are you planning on kids?
    Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination.
  1. Are you married?
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

This could mean you believe the female applicant will be less reliable since she might get pregnant or need more time off for family, Or maybe you are just suggesting she can have the job if you can have a date, but either way Sex discrimination is illegal.

The following article is informational only and not intended as legal advice. Speak with a licensed attorney about your own specific situation. © Copyright 2011 MacElree Harvey, Ltd. All rights reserved.