A recent survey from CareerBuilder indicates that 1 in 5 employers are asking illegal interview questions.
Excerpts from the article below list the illegal questions. Would you like to know how to ask some of these questions in a manner that is not illegal? We invite you to contact us and ask for a complementary subscription to the HR360 service. Just write an email to email@example.com and in the heading write HR360. HR360 can be your one-stop source for employee management guidance.
CHICAGO, April 9, 2015 –In a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2192 hiring managers, 20 percent of hiring managers indicated they have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.
“It’s important for both interviewer and interviewee to understand what employers do and don’t have a legal right to ask in a job interview – for both parties’ protection,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “Though their intentions may be harmless, hiring managers could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk for legal action, as a job candidate could argue that certain questions were used to discriminate against him or her.”
More than 2,100 hiring and human resource managers across industries participated in the nationwide survey, commissioned by CareerBuilder and conducted online by Harris Poll from November 4 to December 2, 2014.
Interview Questions That Aren’t Okay to Ask
The following questions are illegal for hiring managers to ask; yet, when asked if they knew if these questions were illegal, at least one third of employers indicated they didn’t know:
– What is your religious affiliation? (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)
– Are you pregnant? (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)
– What is your political affiliation?
– What is your race, color or ethnicity?
– How old are you?
– Are you disabled?
– Are you married? (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)
– Do you have children or plan to? (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)
– Are you in debt?
– Do you social drink or smoke?
Often the legality of the question is in how the interviewer asks it. For example, a number of hiring managers didn’t know the legality of asking the following:
– When do you plan to retire? Asking candidates what their long-term goals are is okay, but asking when they plan to retire is off the table.
– Where do you live? Asking candidates where they live could be interpreted as a way to discriminate based on their location and is therefore illegal. Asking them if they are willing to relocate, however, is okay. (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)
– What was the nature of your military discharge? Asking why a military veteran was discharged is illegal; however asking what type of education, training or work experience received while in the military is not.
– Are you a U.S. citizen? While it’s okay to ask if a candidate is legally eligible for employment in the U.S., it’s not okay to ask about citizenship or national origin. (HR360 has an acceptable alternative)