Most managers know that some questions are off limits in a job interview—but several seemingly innocent questions can get you into serious hot water. See what the experts have to say about what you can and can’t ask during an interview.
From the PDF:
While HR departments are aware of questions that are illegal to ask job candidates during an interview, other hiring managers are often not as savvy and may accidentally open the company to a discrimination investigation and lawsuit. That means that everyone involved in the employee selection process must understand what questions are appropriate to ask a prospective employee and which can lead to trouble.
“Any question that’s about age, arrests, marital/family status, disability, military discharge, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation—all of these questions can potentially be tied to discriminatory actions by a prospective employer—unless the question is job-related,” said Jeremy Eskenazi, managing principal of Riviera Advisors. “For example, you can ask a candidate the following age-related question: ‘The job requires that the candidate be at least 21 years of age. Do you meet that qualification?’”
In other words, employers can’t ask about anything that would constitute protected status under discrimination law, said Lori Caron Silveira, a labor and employment attorney at Adler, Pollock, and Sheehan.
“Virtually all employment laws apply not just to employees, but to applicants for employment,” Silveira said. “You don’t have to be an employee to file a Title VII claim. Applicants have the same rights. If you’re an applicant for a job and you’re not hired for a protected reason, you have a claim.”