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  1. #1
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    10 illegal job interview questions

    #1: Where were you born?

    This question might seem like small talk as you get to know a person, but it could also be used to gather information illegally about the candidateís national origin. Although it may seem more relevant, you should also avoid asking, ďAre you a U.S. citizen?Ē You can ask whether a candidate is authorized to work in the United States, but avoid asking about citizenship.
    #2: What is your native language?

    Again, the problem is that this question could be used to determine national origin. You can ask whether the person knows a language if it is required for the job. For example, if job responsibilities include supporting Spanish-speaking customers, itís fair to ask whether the candidate speaks Spanish.
    #3: Are you married?

    Hereís another question that would seem innocent in most settings, but definitely not in a job interview. Because you canít discriminate on the basis of marital status, this question is off limits.
    #4: Do you have children?

    This might sound like small talk, too ó an innocent question in most settings ó but not in a job interview. Itís covered by a general prohibition about discrimination over parental status.
    #5: Do you plan to get pregnant?

    In the past, employers sometimes asked this question to weed out women who might take a maternity leave. It has always been rude coming from a casual acquaintance, and now itís illegal as well.
    #6: How old are you?

    Some companies used to avoid hiring older workers for a variety of reasons, ranging from a fear of higher healthcare costs and absences to a social bias in favor of youth. But age discrimination is clearly illegal, and you should avoid this question. Donít try to get the information by asking when the person graduated from college, either.
    #7: Do you observe Yom Kippur?

    You canít discriminate on the basis of religion, so this question is illegal, as would be asking about Good Friday, Ramadan, or the Solstice. If youíre concerned about the candidateís availability, you could ask whether he or she can work on holidays and weekends, but not about the observance of particular religious holidays.
    #8: Do you have a disability or chronic illness?

    This information is not supposed to be used as a factor in hiring, so the questions are illegal. If the job will require some specific physical tasks, such as installing cables in walls and ceilings, you may ask whether the person could perform those tasks with reasonable accommodation.
    #9: Are you in the National Guard?

    Although some managers may find it disruptive when employees leave for duty, itís illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she belongs to the National Guard or a reserve unit.
    #10: Do you smoke or use alcohol?

    In general, you canít discriminate on the basis of the use of a legal product when the employee is not on the premises and not on the job
    Author: Suzanne Thornberry
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  2. #2
    Cheers for this, good read.

  3. #3
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    Ummm surely you can ask the questions but just not discriminate based on the answers?

    Heck most people put if they are married or have kids on their CVs

  4. #4
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    They aren't illegal, they just aren't recommended questions. It's to protect you from someone taking legal action against you.

  5. #5
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    Hey i don't write these things i just put them up so every can get a opinion on them
    I also don't necessarily agree with all of these..
    Who is this infamous HTML i keep hearing of, is she cute?

  6. #6
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    Some of these are commonly asked in an application form - age/DOB, marital status, etc. - but I've never been asked any of these in an actual interview. I imagine most interviewers are schooled on the basics of what and what not to ask, in order to avoid potential lawsuits, especially in large corporations or government agencies where you could be exposed to EEOC actions if it's perceived you did or did not hire someone because of their race. There's been plenty of discrimination and reverse discrimination lawsuits.

  7. #7
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    When I was trained to do interviews with candidates we never had a list of questions we shouldn't ask. Infact, to be honest I wouldn't want to ask those questions, I get those details from the application forms and the CVs.

    The interview isn't about getting personal details, if it was you would be wasting your time. The Interview is about gaining an insight into how that person reacts, how they communicate and many other factors which are important.

    However, it is a good point that if you were to ask a women (for example) if she planned on having any kids and then you later refused her the job, she could use that against you.

  8. #8
    Most corporations have guidelines and training that HR staff go through for before interviewing people to prevent asking these type of questions. Though, in some cases the person being interviewed will volunteer it or mention it on accident without having to be directly asked.

  9. #9
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    Do you plan to get pregnant?

    lol
    IntelliSerp - The most accurate and intelligent keyword rank tracking software.

  10. #10
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    I dont know this for certain but I always thought....

    if you get rejected from a job they always had to tell you why. then if they said its because ur expecting kids thats when you can use that againest them as thats discrimination or however you spell it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flumps View Post
    I dont know this for certain but I always thought....

    if you get rejected from a job they always had to tell you why. then if they said its because ur expecting kids thats when you can use that againest them as thats discrimination or however you spell it.
    They will tell you why you have failed it, but it doesn't always mean they are telling the truth.

    If they don't want you for any reason whether it's because of your race, your sex or your future plans they will make an excuse. For example "She never answered the questions correctly" or "Jim Bob had more experience"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flumps View Post
    I dont know this for certain but I always thought....

    if you get rejected from a job they always had to tell you why. then if they said its because ur expecting kids thats when you can use that againest them as thats discrimination or however you spell it.
    I'm not sure if they are required to tell you why you were rejected or not. I haven't applied for a job in so long it's hard to remember.

    That aside I would imagine if they told you that they didn't hire you due to you expecting to have children that you would have decent grounds for a discrimination case.
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  13. #13
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    Even if you didnt ask, a woman could still say you did. So what's the difference?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude View Post
    Even if you didnt ask, a woman could still say you did. So what's the difference?
    I would imagine the burden of proof would lie with the person filing the claim.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dollar View Post
    I would imagine the burden of proof would lie with the person filing the claim.
    Still, either way....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by serverminds View Post
    Some of these are commonly asked in an application form - age/DOB, marital status, etc. -
    Exactly, and any CV or covering letter could be expected to cover most of these questions. You simply will not get to an interview 'Unless' there interested in you.
    Send someone a CV without DOB, nationality, family status etc. it will get binned.
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  17. #17
    Just to add to this, by legal rights you do not have to put your age on an application and the employer cannot require it, however most people automatically puts it down, but by legal rights you can leave it blank, I worked in a Security firm as Director of Operations, and one alot of the hiring, there, the thing about this is if you do not interview or hire this person and state you are an EEOE then you need to show proof that someone was more qualified than that person. So if you are seeking a position and worried about your age just leave it blank however most employers will pickup on the age by the work experience off of the resume or the cover letter

  18. #18
    Interview job questions are based around getting a "feel" of the person you are hiring. These questions should never be asked. Due to the fact that one could file a claim against the company.

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