Inappropriate Interview Questions

Questions about name

  1. Is that your original name?
  2. Did you change your name at some point?
  3. What was your maiden name?
  4. Is that last name Russian? It sounds Russian.
  5. Is that middle name a confirmation name?
  6. What is your spouse’s name?
  7. What are you children’s names?
  8. What are your parents’ names?

Questions about nationality

  1. Where were you born?
  2. Are you a U.S. citizen?
  3. Where were your parents born?
  4. What’s your background?
  5. Where are you from originally?
  6. How long have you lived here?
  7. Are you a citizen of any other countries? Which ones?
  8. Where does your spouse live?
  9. Where do your children live?
  10. Do you live with your parents?
  11. Do you own your home or rent it?

Questions about religion

  1. What religious faith do you celebrate?
  2. Do you consider yourself a religious person?
  3. How do you celebrate your faith?
  4. Do you believe in God?
  5. Do you believe in an afterlife?
  6. Do you believe in the Bible?
  7. Do you adhere to the Ten Commandments?
  8. Do you follow Jesus Christ?
  9. Which church do you belong to?
  10. Were your kids mitzvahed?
  11. Were your children baptized?
  12. Has your son/daughter had a confirmation ceremony yet?
  13. What does your family do for Christmas?
  14. Will you need time off for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana?
  15. Do you celebrate Easter?

Questions about age

  1. What is the date of your birth? (Date of birth can be requested, however, to determine if an applicant meets a minimum age requirement).
  2. What is your driver’s license number? (Such numbers often contain a birth date or age reference).
  3. How old is your spouse?
  4. How old are your children?
  5. What year did you graduate from high school?
  6. How many more years do you expect to work?
  7. How old were you when you worked for ABC Corporation?

Questions about race and color

  1. What color do you consider yourself?
  2. What color are your eyes?
  3. What color is your hair?

Questions about language

  1. What language did you learn to speak first?
  2. What language do you speak at home?
  3. Where did you learn to read and write English?
  4. What foreign languages do you speak? (However, an applicant may be asked about fluency in a foreign language if it is related to the job).

Questions about club and group memberships

  1. Do you belong to the Knights of Columbus?
  2. Did your family participate in B’nai Birth?
  3. Gamma Phi Delta? What sorority is that?
  4. Were you a member of the Brehon Law Society? (The Brehon Law Society is an organization of Irish attorneys).
  5. Which social groups and private clubs do you belong to?
  6. Are you a member of the Electrical Workers’ Union?
  7. Do you plan to join the union if you get this job?
  8. Have you ever been denied membership in a group because of your religion or race?

Questions about sex, gender, and orientation

  1. Do you have any problem being supervised by a man/woman?
  2. Would you have any difficulty managing a man/woman?
  3. Do you relate well with members of the opposite sex?
  4. What do you think about dating co-workers?
  5. Why should I hire a woman to do a job that’s been typically held by a man?
  6. Will you be needing information about benefits for domestic partners?
  7. What is the name of the relative to be notified in case of an emergency?
  8. Are you gay?

Questions about marriage and family

  1. Do you prefer Miss, Mrs. Or Ms.?
  2. Are you married?
  3. Do you plan to get married in the near future?
  4. Are you engaged?
  5. Do you have any children?
  6. Are you planning a family in the future?
  7. Can you get a babysitter on short notice if we have overtime work for you?
  8. Where do your kids go to school?
  9. What does your husband/wife do for a living?
  10. What do your parents do for a living?
  11. Have your wages ever been garnished for child support or otherwise?

Questions about military service

  1. Have you ever served in the armed services of another country?
  2. Have you been notified to report for duty anywhere?
  3. How were you discharged from the Army?
  4. Did you suffer any injuries while in the service?

Questions about criminal background

  1. Have you ever been arrested?
  2. How many times have you been arrested?
  3. For what crimes were you arrested?
  4. What were you charged with?

Questions about disabilities

  1. Are you in good health?
  2. What medical or hospital treatment have you had in the last five years?
  3. Do you have any physical handicaps or limitations?
  4. Do you have any mental problems or disabilities?
  5. How tall are you?
  6. How much do you weigh?
  7. Do you take drugs?
  8. Do you smoke or consume alcoholic beverages?
  9. How often do you call out sick?
  10. How many sick days did you take in the last year?
  11. Did you require any family or medical leave at your last job?
  12. Do you go to a psychiatrist or other counselor for any reason?
  13. Is somebody in your family disabled?
  14. Are you collecting workers’ compensation benefits? Have you done so in the past?
  15. Have you ever been injured on the job in the past?

Other problematic questions

  1. Do you live nearby?
  2. What kind of neighborhood is that?
  3. How far is your commute?
  4. Do you have any debts?
  5. Are you working with a credit counselor?
  6. Has your house ever been foreclosed?
  7. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
  8. Have you ever filed a prior equal employment opportunity claim?
  9. What kinds of things do you do when you are off duty?
  10. Are you a veteran? Did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan?

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