10 Illegal Questions You Should Never Ask During an Interview

Have you ever been asked illegal questions during an interview? Or do you know which questions are illegal according to California law?

In the United States, the Federal and state laws prohibit employers from asking certain questions during the interview process. You should avoid the classic California illegal job interview questions if you want to protect yourself and your company from any miscommunication with candidates.

The most unwanted questions are those that reveal your age, race, national origin and etc. Let us go throw the list of 10 most common illegal questions you should never ask during an interview:

Do You Suffer from Physical or Mental Disabilities?

The main thing here is to make sure that the candidate can perform the job while avoiding questions about his or her physical or mental disabilities. It is very impolite to ask about them.  Better to ask if the applicant can perform the specific duties of this position.

Have You ever had Troubles with Health Policies?

Health and abilities may be essential to getting the job done. Important is to try not to insult or discriminate with your questions and also to avoid embarrassment and legal troubles. You probably want to avoid someone who likes to drink or will take smoke breaks throughout the day. It is even a concern for insurance. Just ask if they have had trouble with health policies in the past. You can also ask about using illegal drugs.

Are You okay with People of any Other Race?

Racial discrimination including the question about the race during an interview is illegal. The race cannot affect the work. It is an unnecessary question that can seriously harm. Better not even to mention the race.

What is Your Religion?

Refrain from any questions or comments that refer to an applicant’s religion. Religion should have no bearing on the job. Also, do not to comment on anything the applicant is wearing.

Are You Tolerant to Other Cultures?

Just like race, religion, and nationality, color is an unnecessary question to discuss. The color can never affect the work. Try to avoid any discussions about the color because it is a serious illegal question that discriminates a person.

Where Are You Originally From?

It is important to make sure that a candidate can legally work for you. But, be careful how you ask. These questions address various touchy subjects.  The better way is to simply ask if he or she is authorized to work in the U.S.

Are You Married?

A woman’s marital status is not something that she should share with employers. The only thing important is to make sure whether she has gained experience using any other names.

Do You Have Kids?  

The concern here is that family obligations will get in the way of work hours.  Better to ask directly if she is available to work overtime on occasion and if she can travel.

How Old Are You?

Though maturity is essential for most positions, making assumptions about a candidate’s maturity based on age is wrong. You should also be careful about discrimination towards applicants nearing retirement. So, to be on the safe side, just ensure that the candidate is legally old enough to work for your firm.

What is Your Sexual Orientation?

Sexual orientation should be a non-issue during the hiring process. Candidate’s sexuality is not a disability and can not affect the work. Try to avoid any discussion on this theme.

Answers to some illegal questions could ruin a job candidate’s chances of getting the position. Also, the hiring manager could be putting the company at risk for legal action. In fact, an interviewer should never ask a question that could reveal personal details about a candidate. I believe most employers do not want or intend to discriminate, but somehow it happens again and again.

There are a lot of people looking for work. Some interviewers use this to their advantage by asking questions that are illegal. Many questions are prohibited by California law. But that does not stop them from being asked and answered.  We have all heard questions that are inappropriate, nosy or just illegal.  As we want the job we prefer to not call it out.

Now when you have more information about the illegal questions, hopefully, employers will not discriminate or embarrass you that easy. You may ask how to react if they ask you any inappropriate questions. It is better not to lie, but, instead, politely decline to answer. Good luck.


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