Legal and Illegal Interview Questions

Inquiry Area

Illegal Questions

Legal Questions

National Origin/Citizenship

Are you a U.S. citizen?

Where were you born/your parents born?

What is your native tongue?

Are you authorized to work in the United States?

What language(s) do you read/speak/write fluently?

(This question is OK only if this ability is relevant of the performance of the job.)

Age

How old are you?

When did you graduate?

What is your birth date?

Are you over the age of 18?

Marital/Family Status

What is your marital status?

Whom do you live with?

Do you plan to have a family?  When?

How many kids do you have?

What are your child-care arrangements?

Would you be willing and able to work overtime if necessary? (This question is okay if it is asked of all applicants.)

Are you able to work the shifts necessary for the position?

Affiliations

What 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.

Personal

How tall are you?

How much do you weigh?

Are you able to lift a 50 pound weight and carry it 100 yards as that is part of the job? (Questions about height and weight are not acceptable unless minimum standards are essential to the safe performance of the job.)

Disabilities

Do you have any disabilities?

Please complete the following medical history.

Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations?  If yes, then list them and give the dates when these occurred.

What is the date of your last physical exam?

How is your family’s health?

When did you lose your eyesight?  How?

Do you need an accommodation to perform this job? (This question can only be asked after a job offer has been made.)

Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job? (Can only be asked after 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. (Results must be kept strictly confidential; supervisors may be informed about necessary job accommodations based on exam results.)

Arrest Record

Have 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.)

Things are changing, however.  More and more companies are not even asking about convictions!

Military

If you have 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?