Illegal Interview Questions

The laws of employment discrimination govern activities in the workplace that might affect an employee’s hiring, job security, and/or opportunities for advancement. But those same laws govern the interview process, i.e., certain topics cannot be broached or specific questions asked that would lead the candidate to believe that his or her failure to secure employment was prompted by the answer to some of those questions.

The types of discrimination to be avoided are:

Here are more specific questions and lines of questioning that are prohibited:



Religious preferences

National origin/citizenship/ancestry

Financial history/credit rating

Criminal history (note: several states has passed and are considering “ban the box” laws which govern the questions that can be asked about criminal history):

Disabilities (physical and/or mental)

Marital/parental status

Physical appearance/obesity


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