Legal and illegal questions in an interview

Inquiry AreaIllegal QuestionsLegal Questions
Age An employer may not require an applicant to state their age, date of birth, or ask that they produce records to prove their age. An employer is also prohibited from restricting its application process to “young, college age, or recent college graduate “ applicants. Asking for the applicant’s year of graduation from high school is illegalAn employer may ask whether an individual meets the minimum age requirement set by law. “Are you over the age of 18?” is an appropriate question. Employers may also ask questions that relate to a bona fide occupation qualification.
National Origin/ CitizenshipAre you a U.S. citizen? Where were you/your parents born?What is your “native tongue”?Are you authorized to work in the United States?What languages do you read/speak/write fluently? (This question is legal only if this ability is relevant to the performance of the job.)
Race/ColorAll questions regarding an individual’s race/color will be deemed illegal under state and federal laws.None!
ReligionAny question regarding an applicant’s religious beliefs, denomination, or any questions about religious customs or holidays observed are illegal.After an individual is hired, an employer may inquire about religious accommodations.It should be noted that there are some exceptions to the general rule for religious institutions and organizations
Martial/Family StatusWhat’s your marital status?With whom do you live?Do you plan to have a family? When?How many kids do you have?What are your child-care arrangements?Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?Would you be able and willing to travel as needed for the job?(This question is legal if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)Would you be able and willing to work overtime as necessary?(This question is legal if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)
Sexual OrientationAn employer should not inquire with respect to an individual’s sexual orientation.None!
AffiliationsWhat clubs or social organizations do you belong to?List any professional or trade groups or other organizations that you belong to that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job
PersonalHow tall are you? How much do you weigh? (Questions about height and weight are not acceptable unless minimum standards are essential for the safe performance of the job.)Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as that is part of the job?
DisabilitiesDo you have disabilities?Please complete the following medical history.Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations?If yes, list them and give dates when these occurred.What was the date of your last physical exam?How’s your family’s health?When did you lose your eyesight? How?Do you need an accommodation to perform the job? (this question can be asked only after a job offer has been made.)Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job? (This question is legal if the interviewer has thoroughly described the job.)Can you demonstrate how you would perform the following job-related functions?As part of the hiring process, after a job offer has been made you will be required to undergo a medical exam.  (Exam results must be kept strictly confidential, except medical/safety personnel may be informed if emergency medical treatment is required, and supervisors may be informed about necessary job accommodations, based on exam results.)
Arrest RecordHave you ever been arrested?Have you ever been convicted of__?  (The crime named should be reasonably related to the performance of the job in question.)
PregnancyAll questions specifically regarding pregnancy, future child plans, or the number of children an applicant has are illegal.Questions as to duration of stay on job or anticipated absences if made to both men and women.
   PhotographIt is illegal to request a photograph prior to hiring an individual.After hiring an individual, a photograph may be requested for identification purposes only.
CitizenshipGenerally, an employer should not inquire as to the citizenship of an individual or require that an individual present proof of citizenship prior to the interview.An employer may inquire as to whether an applicant is authorized to work in the United States
MilitaryIf you’ve been in the military, were you honorably discharged?In what branch of the Armed Forces did you serve?What type of training or education did you receive in the military?