Interview Questions to Avoid

During an interview, employers should avoid asking questions that could lead to discrimination or bias based on protected characteristics. These protected characteristics are traits that are safeguarded by employment laws, and asking questions related to them is considered illegal and unethical. Here are some questions employers should not ask during an interview:

  1. Age: Do not ask the candidate’s age or date of birth. Avoid questions like, “How old are you?” or “When did you graduate from high school?”
  2. Gender and Sexuality: Do not inquire about a candidate’s gender identity, sexual orientation or expression, or marital status. Avoid questions like, “Are you married?” or “What are your pronouns?”
  3. Race, Ethnicity, or Nationality: Avoid questions about a candidate’s race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Do not ask, “Where are you from?” or “What is your nationality?”
  4. Religion: Do not ask about a candidate’s religious beliefs or practices. Avoid questions like, “What religious holidays do you observe?”
  5. Disability or Medical Conditions: Do not ask about a candidate’s medical history or disabilities. Avoid questions like, “Do you have any disabilities?” or “Have you had any recent medical treatments?”
  6. Pregnancy or Family Planning: Avoid questions about family planning, pregnancy, or childcare arrangements. Do not ask, “Do you plan to have children soon?”
  7. Financial Status: Do not inquire about a candidate’s financial status or credit history. Avoid questions like, “Do you have any outstanding debts?”
  8. Arrest Record: In many places, it is illegal to ask about an applicant’s arrest record. You may inquire about convictions, but it’s essential to know your local laws.
  9. Military Service: Do not ask about a candidate’s military service, as it could reveal protected information. However, you can ask about relevant job-related skills acquired during military service.
  10. Membership in Organizations: Do not ask about membership in clubs or organizations that could indicate a candidate’s political or personal beliefs.

Remember, the primary focus of the interview should be on the candidate’s qualifications, skills, experience, and ability to perform the job. Asking questions related to the candidate’s suitability for the position based on these factors is appropriate and essential for finding the right fit for the role. If you need to assess whether an applicant can perform specific job-related tasks, ask questions directly related to those tasks, rather than making assumptions based on personal characteristics. As always, contact UAP if you have any questions about this guidance.