Illegal Interview Questions. Don't ask in Interviews

Mayank Kumar
Mayank Kumar

Posted On: Nov 26, 2022

Illegal Interview Questions. Don't ask in Interviews


When applying for a new job, we all hope to be given a fair shot at securing this position, and expect to be judged on the basis of our qualification for the position, and not on any other non-work related factors. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are numerous laws in the United States that prohibit discrimination on the basis of a range of qualities, discrimination still takes a number of different forms in the workplace today.

While most people think of discrimination as something that happens within the workplace, an incredible amount of discrimination occurs in the hiring and interviewing process. To try and stop this, there are a number of questions that interviewers are not legally allowed to ask during an interview. Some of the most unfortunately common of these include:

  • Do you have any kids / Do you want kids? – Many interviewers try to discriminate against women who plan on having a family at some point by asking seemingly innocent questions like these.
  • Where are you from? – Although this may seem like small talk, far too many employers discriminate against potential employees on the basis of race or national origin, and asking a question like this might not be as innocent as it seems.
  • When did you graduate from / go to college? – Ageism is an unfortunately common problem when it comes to hiring new employees, and an interviewer might be asking you a question like this to try and establish exactly how old you are.
  • Are you married? – Again, while questions like this may come across as nothing more than small talk, discriminating against prospective employees on the basis of sexual orientation is unfortunately common, and a question like this might be an attempt to probe into your sexual orientation.

What are Illegal Interview Questions in 2023?

As per EEOC(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), It is Illegal to ask questions about Race, Color, Sex, Country, Religion, Age, Marital Status, etc.

Some More Illegal Interview Questions are

  • Are you Latino or Hispanic?
  • Are you married?
  • How many children do you have?
  • What is your age?
  • Do you go to the temple?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What is your Citizenship

Also Read: 20+ Behavioral Interview Questions and answers

If you are asked any of these questions in the course of an interview, you are not legally required to answer them, and you may even want to discuss the incident with an employment lawyer who can further advise you on your rights and options. Instead of answering these questions, you can politely try and steer the conversation back to your qualifications for the position in question. More advice on dealing with these kinds of questions can be found.

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