Interviewing for a new job can be an exciting opportunity for you to shine as an interviewer will often ask you questions about yourself, your background and why you deserve to have the position in question. But did you know that certain questions are illegal during the interview process? Here, we take a look at some questionable questions that will hopefully not be asked during your next interview.
Questions That Divulge Your Race, Color, Religion or National Origin
When it comes to job interviews, according to "CBS Money Watch," hiring decisions may not be made based on race, color, religion or national origin and as such, potential employers are prohibited from asking questions that would require the potential employee to divulge any of this information. Employers are allowed to ask questions such as, "Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.?" They cannot ask you about your citizenship status, nor can they ask where you were born. Questions regarding religion are also off limits. Employers cannot ask you about which religious holidays you observe, nor can they ask you about which church you attend. When it comes to languages spoken, an employer may ask you if you are able to read, write or speak a certain language so long as that language is relevant to the position in question, but an interviewer cannot simply ask what your native language is.
How Old Are You?
Though many interviewers are able to deduce an applicant's age based on dates that may be voluntarily disclosed on an applicant's resume, it is illegal to ask an applicant what his or her age is during the interview process. In certain instances, an employer may ask an applicant if he/she is over a certain age (e.g. 16, 18, or 21 are common ages seen on employment applications). Nevertheless, explicitly asking for one's age during a job interview is illegal.
Are You Disabled or Married?
While some disabilities may complicate a person's ability to perform essential functions of a job, it is illegal to ask whether or not a job applicant is disabled or any questions related to medical history. More appropriately, an employer can ask if a candidate is capable of performing essential functions of the position with reasonable accommodations, but explicit questions regarding disability status are off limits. Similarly, questions about your marital status are questionable. Rather than ask "Are you married?" or "Do you have children?" many interviewers broach this issue by asking "Would you be willing to relocate as needed?" or "Are you able to travel as needed for the job?"
What Is Your Weight and Height?
Unless the position for which you are applying requires applicants to maintain a certain weight or be a certain height, it is not legal for an interviewer to ask you about your physical attributes.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to questions asked at job interviews, a quick litmus test is to ask yourself whether or not the question posed elicits an answer that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.