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10 Illegal Interview Questions

10 illegal interview questions Discover which seemingly harmless questions are actually illegal and violate your rights. Should you answer these 10 illegal interview questions? How are they manipulated to make them legal?

Don't Answer These 10 Illegal Interview Questions

Should You Answer?
During a job interview, many questions surface, and you may not think twice if an employer asks you about these topics. Little do you know that what they are asking you could be illegal. Some topics are off-limits during this type of meeting. Of course, we aren't lawyers, but this information is intended to make you aware of a side of this process you may not know exists. You should seek legal counsel to be properly informed about this subject.

These subjects typically revolve around: marital status, relationship preference, age, race, origin, gender, and, religion. Be aware that employers may take these ten illegal interview questions and change them so that they seem legal. Use these examples as a guide to determine if they are violating your rights and if you should answer the question.
Most Common Illegal Interview Questions

Career Help Center

10 Examples of Illegal Interview Questions

  1. Were you ever arrested?
    An employer may never ask if you have been arrested without providing you with a specific reason or potential concern that stems from a job-related conflict. Sometimes criminal behavior, while not positive, doesn't always have to present a legal barrier to employment.

    When it's OK: They can, however, ask if you have ever been convicted of a specific felony. For example, if you are applying for a job working with children and you have been convicted of rape, it is doubtful that you will receive the position.
  2. What religious holidays will you require as personal days?
    This question violates your religious privacy and tells the employer how many days you will be expecting to take off. The employer is not allowed to know any personal religious information about you.

    When it's OK: If they ask a question about what weekdays or dates that you can work that is perfectly acceptable. For instance, an employer could inquire if you are available to work on Sundays.
  3. What is your country of origin?
    An interviewer is most likely asking the question to see if you are an immigrant, but regardless this is a violation of your rights and may never be asked. Additionally, an employer may not ask if English is your first language.

    When it's OK: There is a way that you can be asked about this legally. If they ask you if you are legally able to work in the country, you are obligated to answer, and they are not breaking the law.
  4. What is your marital status?
    A recruiter has gone too far by asking this. Answering this reveals too much about your personal life. Someone can deduce whether or not you will be able to spend as much time at work as they would like, and also your relationship preference.

    When it's OK: There isn't a time when this question is legitimate to ask.
  5. Do you have any debt?
    You should not be asked about this because it is irrelevant and inappropriate. There should not be any discussion of personal bank accounts or property ownership. Can bad credit hurt your job search?

    When it's OK: If the conversation begins by discussing professional, and business-related accounts and finances, then that is relevant and non-invasive. They may ask: how do you feel you could manage corporate bank accounts? That is perfectly fine. It does happen where an employer my run a credit check on you.
  6. How many kids do you have?
    This question, much like your marital status, is off limits. Your personal family life has nothing to do with your professional life.

    When it's OK: Again, this question is never acceptable to speak of during the meeting.
  7. Have you ever had a drug problem?
    An employer may never ask about a previous substance addiction during an interview. Americans are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and HIPAA, therefore confront this situation if it occurs.

    When it's OK: Be careful with this one because if you are currently abusing drugs and an employer requests information about your present state, they are lawfully able.
  8. When did you start working?
    Questions such as these are getting into your age that is most likely the goal of asking this. Age-related inquiries are illegal. Employers cannot even guess your age, birthday, or graduation dates.

    When it's OK: An employer can ask how many years you have been working in a particular field to get a sense of how much experience you have.
  9. On what grounds were you discharged from the military?
    They may not ask if you were discharged honorably or dishonorably, this is a violation of your rights.

    When it's OK: A question that is perfectly allowable is asking what you have specialized in during your time of service.
  10. How much do you weigh?
    Questions regarding your personal health information, your weight, height, disabilities, are completely off limits to employers.

    When it's OK: It would be fine if an employer asked a question about your physical abilities (job-related). For example, if they were to ask: can you lift 50 pounds for an extended period? There would be no debate that the question is legal.
Sometimes during an interview an employer doesn't always ask questions that are perfectly legal. Now armed with knowledge like these ten illegal interview questions, you can use the law and take a stand for your rights. It is a standard practice for you to send the employer a thank-you letter as a gesture of appreciation for this meeting. You can write one quickly using our creator by clicking the Start link below.
10 illegal interview questions thank you letter