5 Interview Questions You Cant Ask (Legally)

Job interviews are difficult on everybody involved, and the employer or HR manager is not an exception. Treading lightly around questions that involve personal life is smart, but it can also keep you out of hot water in the legal sense. Read on for our 5 interview questions you cant ask…

1. Are You Married?

Unfortunately for many employers, litigation for these cases regarding questions just like this one often make it to state and federal courts. Interviewers are often tempted to ask this question, and those like it, because they want to know about their potential level of commitment to a career. Asking about an employee’s marital status or sexual orientation is illegal.

2. How Many Children Do You Have?

You cannot ask a potential employee if they intend to have children or if they already have them, according to the law. You are also not allowed to ask who is going to look after the children during work hours. Again, this is another question used to gauge the level of commitment to work. Instead of asking this question, revert to something along the lines of, “Will any of your responsibilities interfere with job requirements?” or “How many hours can you commit each week to work?”

3. What is Your First Language?

You might notice that the individual you are interviewing has an accent or does not seem to be a native speaker; however, making assumptions about their language is not a good idea. It is legal to ask instead, “What languages do you read and speak fluently?” If you slip up and ask a prospect’s first language, the applicant could potentially take you to court. If you find yourself in this predicament, consider asking for professional advice from Sattiraju Law Firm or a law firm in your particular area.

4. How Old are You?

It is understandable that you want your candidate to be mature, but asking about your employee’s age is not legal. Additionally, you cannot ask your candidate about plans if retirement may be nearing. On the other hand, it is legal to ask if your candidate is over the age of 18.

5. What Religious Holidays Do You Celebrate?

While this question seems innocent as a reference to whether or not holidays will interfere with work schedules, asking an employee about their religion is not legal. If you are looking for a way to get around the question without being inappropriate, you can ask, “Are you available to work on Sundays?”

If you find yourself in a position where an illegal question has been asked, it is wise to hire an attorney with a specialty in employment law to help see you through an otherwise trying process.

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