Illegal Interview Questions to Avoid Asking

It may be an employer’s market, but there is a fine line between taking advantage of the current recruitment market, and abusing it. Irrespective of the competition for your job vacancy, as a recruiter you have a responsibility to initiate a fair and legal hiring strategy that gives candidates an equal chance at interview stage.

Although a fair hiring strategy ought to be at the forefront of recruiters’ minds, unfortunately, this is not always the case. In many regions and specific companies, the interview pre-screening techniques are taking an unjust and invasion turn. Not only are the interview questions being used illegal to ask, but recruiters are asking them to make discriminatory judgments on which candidate will succeed or fail to land the job. 

Questions relating to any of the following topics should be treated with care and avoided if possible:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Birthplace
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Marital/family status
  • Gender

Here are some of the most frequently asked, yet illegal interview questions to avoid when conducting an interview.

What is your native language?

What’s your nationality?

What church do you attend?

Are you married?

Do you have plans to get married?

Do you have children?

Do you plan to get pregnant?

How old are you?

Do you have a disability or chronic illness?

Do you ever abuse alcohol or drugs?

How do you define sexual harassment?

Are you married, divorced, separated, or single?

Do you have many debts?

How much do you weigh?

Have you ever brought a lawsuit against an employer?

What do you think about romance in the office?

Have you ever been sexually harassed?

Avoid asking these questions at all costs, and any other questions you predict would make your interviewee feel intimidated. An invasion of privacy and complete disregard for another’s human rights may result in a legal suit filed against you, or your company.





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