Questions Employers are not Allowed to Ask

These are questions that employers are not allowed to ask in an interview.

It is important to note that recruiters are not always intentionally trying to ask you illegal questions. Sometimes they are not aware that they are asking such questions. They also may need to ask you an illegal question because it relates to the qualifications of the position. Being aware of illegal questions and how to handle them is your best defense. Listed below is a set of criteria from Georgetown Law that recruiters are not allowed to ask illegal questions about:

  • Original name or maiden name, if changed by court or other manner (May reveal race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship, national origin)
  • Citizenship or citizenship of relatives (Although information about an employee's citizenship is required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 when an employee starts work, it should not be requested during the pre-hire stage; however, an employer may advise an interviewee that the information will be required once employment commences)
  • National origin
  • Length of residency in the United States
  • Religion (Hiring lawyers because they belong to a particular religious group is as discriminatory as not hiring such lawyers)
  • Holidays observed (May reveal religion, political views, etc.)
  • Languages written, spoken, or read (May reveal ethnicity, national origin, race, or religion), unless an employer is seeking employees with expertise in a particular language
  • Membership in organizations: clubs, churches, lodges, fraternities (May reveal race, ethnicity, religion, national origin)
  • Names/addresses of relatives (May reveal race, ethnicity, religion, national origin)
  • Age
  • Arrest record
  • Type of military discharge
  • Status as a veteran
  • Credit standing
  • Physical and mental disabilty (Including alcoholism and drug addiction)
  • Views on civil rights