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10 Illegal Job Interview Questions

March 19, 2010 | PrimePay Business and Experts Blog | 2 Comments

illegal job interview questionsA Guide to Avoiding Unlawful Interview Questions
Federal and state laws prohibit employers from asking certain questions during the interview process. Many small and mid-size business owners are not sure about what they can ask and what they cannot ask a prospective employee. Protect yourself and your company from any miscommunication with candidates by avoiding the classic illegal job interview questions.

Job Interview Questions You Should Never Ask
In general, employers should not ask an interviewee questions about their age, race, religion, ethnic background, gender, disabilities, marital or family status, or birthplace. Employers should instead focus on questions that help identify a candidate's abilities, knowledge, skills and experience as they relate to the job they are applying for.

10 Illegal Job Interview Questions

  1. Where were you born?
  2. What is your native language?
  3. How old are you?
  4. Are you married?
  5. What religion do you practice?
  6. Do you have children?
  7. Do you plan to get pregnant?
  8. Do you have a disability or chronic illness?
  9. Are you in the National Guard?
  10. Do you smoke or use alcohol?

Check out CNN's ‘Expert Hiring Strategies' Video for Small Businesses

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After giving the prospective employee a job description, can an interviewee ask if the prospective candidate would be able to carry out all the physical aspects of the job? Example: go up and down stairs if there is no elevator/escalator in the building?
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Patti Jo… Thank you for posting your comment! Unfortunately PrimePay is not in a position through our blog to provide HR or legal advice. To get an answer to your question, we would recommend that you consult an HR or legal professional.    Or with our own HR Library service offering, clients have the ability to ask a question through the ‘Ask the Experts’ advisory panel. If you are interested in a 30-day free trial, we can have someone contact you to get that set up.   
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