Questions to Avoid When Conducting an Interview

Attracting Diverse Candidates In Today’s Changing Work Environment
September 17, 2013
Qualigence featured in Detroit Free Press
September 30, 2013
 

Knowing what not to ask can be just as important as knowing what to ask when conducting an interview with a job candidate.

While some questions are inappropriate, others - even those that are seemingly harmless - are downright illegal.

 

Avoid asking job candidates about anything that is not a factor in the ability to perform a specific job function, such as:

  • Maiden name, marital status, dependent status, or children
  • Birthplace, or the birthplace of their parents, spouse or other close relatives
  • Citizenship or national origin
  • Religious denomination, affiliations, or holidays observed
  • Any questions related to complexion or skin color
  • Questions related to height, weight or age
  • The spouse’s employment
  • The spouse’s name (because providing this information to an interviewer may reveal sexual preference, ethnic background, national origin or similar information
  • Clarifying Mr., Miss or Mrs. or any inquiry regarding gender
  • Inquiries regarding an individual’s physical or mental condition which are not directly related to the requirements of a specific job
  • Arrests, felonies, or misdemeanors that did not result in conviction

In addition, the American Disabilities Act prohibits the following interview questions:

  • Have you ever been hospitalized? If so, for what condition?
  • Have you ever been treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist? If so, for what condition?
  • Is there any health-related reason that you may not be able to perform the job for which you are applying?
  • How many days were you absent from work because of illness last year?
  • Are you taking any prescribed drugs?
  • Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism?
 

If you are unsure about whether an interview question is appropriate, leave it out.

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *