The questions that potential employers must ask throughout the hiring process are referred to as interview questions for employers. Employers are typically free to ask job interview questions that are pertinent to the position being sought for. However, the employer must use caution to avoid posing any inquiries that could be interpreted as being in any way biased.
Under federal and state employment laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their age, national origin, sex, handicap, pregnancy, religion, or any other characteristics.
What Are Some Interview Questions that Employers Ought to Refrain from Asking?
Employers should steer clear of the following interview questions:
- What is your national origin?
- Where do you attend church?
- Which sexual preference do you have?
- Do you suffer from any physical ailments or impairments?
- Are you separated or divorced?
As a general rule, all inquiries have to be targeted at the specific post for which the applicant is applying. Questions that aren’t directly related to the employment post could be perceived as biased.
For instance, the employer can list several job-related activities and inquire whether the applicant would be able to do them rather than focusing on the applicant’s impairment.
Are There Any Anti-Discrimination Defenses for Employers?
For an employer, defending against job discrimination can frequently be difficult. An investigation by a government body, like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, may be involved. The employer had a reasonable and non-discriminatory reason for asking the interview questions, which is a typical defense.
For instance, it only makes it reasonable that the employer can inquire about the applicant’s ability to complete the assignment if it involves physical labor (such as lifting heavy objects).
Although the employer is not permitted to inquire about physical impairments openly, they may be able to use this as a defense if they can show that all of the interview questions had a legitimate bearing on the recruiting and selection process.
What Are Illegal Interview Questions to Ask?
Employers are permitted to inquire about potential candidates’ qualifications for the post during employment interviews. This does not imply that they may question the applicant in any way, nor may they make them answer a question that is against the law.
Any question pertaining to an applicant’s age, race, gender, national origin, marital status, or religion during an interview is banned.
Although they don’t expressly violate the law, these inquiries may imply discrimination, which is against the law. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
As a result, it is illegal for employers to make hiring decisions based on questions that could be interpreted as being biased against any protected class.
What Are the Legal Boundaries for Job Interviews?
All prospective employees often go through a hiring procedure. When conducting interviews, employers must adhere to federal and state laws that forbid discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
What Topics May Be Covered During a Job Interview?
Interviewers are free to ask candidates any questions they think might be related to the post they are interviewing for. Any inquiries that are not pertinent to the position may be illegal and may be viewed as discriminatory if the candidate is unsuccessful.
What Topics Are Off Limits During a Job Interview?
In general, an interviewer shouldn’t broach a subject that is personal to the applicant and unrelated to the job’s responsibilities.
The following are examples of topics that are generally not appropriate to inquire about:
- Personal finances;
- Children or personal family life;
- Passwords, such as those for social media sites like Facebook;
- Sexual orientation and activity;
- Political affiliations;
- Religious affiliations;
- Medical history, unless pertinent to the position; and
- Drug use, though it is acceptable to request that applicants submit to a drug test.
Although certain topics are off-limits during interviews, candidates are free to discuss any topic they like without putting the employer at risk of prejudice. However, the employer shouldn’t linger or ponder the matter because doing so could result in them asking unethical questions.
What Are Some Inquiries that Employers Need Not Make?
These are just a few examples of questions that employers shouldn’t ever ask prospective employees during job interviews:
- Are you pregnant?
- What is your religious affiliation?
- What religious holidays will you need off?
- What is your political affiliation?
- What is your race or ethnicity?
- Where were you born?
- How old are you?
- Do you have any disabilities?
- Are you married?
- Do you have any children?
All of these inquiries can be viewed as prohibited.
What Limitations Apply to an Interviewer When They Want to Ask Questions About Personal Matters That Might Be Relevant to the Job?
In general, interview questions should focus on the candidate’s capacity to carry out the position’s essential duties. Any subject that is seen to be outside of that may be discriminatory.
Employers are allowed to outline the expectations of the position before asking applicants if they are capable of meeting them. However, employers are not allowed to inquire about candidates’ disabilities.
An interviewer just needs to ascertain whether or not an applicant is qualified for the position; specific reasons why an applicant is unable to perform the position are not required. For instance, it would be unlawful for an interviewer to inquire about a candidate’s original tongue.
However, it is acceptable to inquire about the candidate’s linguistic proficiency. The difference between these two is that the second question asks about abilities that can be advantageous to the organization, whereas the first question makes reference to the applicant’s country of origin.
The question of whether the candidate intends to work after becoming pregnant is another illustration of an unlawful inquiry. However, the interviewer could inquire about the candidate’s long-term professional objectives.
What Rights Do I Have If I’m Refused Employment Because of Illegal Questions?
A complaint may be made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if a person feels that their response to an unlawful interview question led to their employment being rejected. A person has 180 calendar days from the alleged discrimination to submit a complaint.
The Commission will investigate the accusation, which usually takes about ten months. The complainant will be sent a Notice of Right to Sue, which allows them the right to sue the employer in court if the EEOC is unable to determine whether the company violated the law.
The EEOC will attempt to seek a voluntary settlement with the employer if they believe the law may have been broken.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Concerns About Employer Interview Questions?
Employment rules are particularly strict, particularly when it comes to problems like discrimination during the recruiting process. You might want to seek the help of a discrimination lawyer if you have any queries or worries about the interview process. Your attorney might analyze your company’s regulations to ascertain whether your interviewing procedure complies with the law.
Additionally, your lawyer can counsel you throughout the proceedings if you need to participate in a civil action. Use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for all of your needs.