Tech & Work

Steer clear of a lawsuit: Avoid asking risky interview questions

Not all interview questions are appropriate. Some questions are prohibited by law, putting your organization at risk if you ask them. Download these resources on illegal questions and the alternatives you can use.


IT managers who interview candidates for positions on their IT team know that some interview questions can expose their organization to discrimination claims and other complaints. Managers should also be aware that some seemingly innocent questions—such as asking an applicant about a child’s recent Little League game or about a spouse’s new car—are risky. Why would these questions be considered grounds for a discrimination lawsuit? Because if you ask questions about someone’s personal life, it’s assumed that you intend to base hiring decisions on the information that’s revealed.

TechRepublic has created a download to help IT managers identify and understand the types of interview questions that are illegal and may spark litigation. The download provides examples of problematic questions and the alternatives managers can use.

For example, you probably know that many states protect applicants from answering questions about their sexual orientation, but did you know that it is also questionable to ask applicants if they have an H1-B visa? Although H1-B visas are frequently held by IT workers, asking about them can bring a discrimination suit against your organization. The download offers an alternative to this question and others.

From a legal standpoint, managers can also put their organization at risk of being sued if they ask applicants questions concerning the following:
  • ·        Race
  • ·        Religion
  • ·        Sex
  • ·        Pregnancy
  • ·        Age

In the download, managers will also learn which types of questions the U.S. government prohibits you from asking. To learn more, download the report now.

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