Common interview questions that are illegal
When you’re going into an interview there’s enough you're probably worrying about: making a good impression, answering the questions properly, and not messing up. But there’s something else you should keep in mind – are the questions that you’re being asked even legal?
According to Business Insider, they might not be. Thanks to a compilation of some of the most common interview questions that are illegal, you might be surprised to find out which laws have been broken just to see if you’re a likeable candidate.
If you’ve been asked any questions that disclose your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status, or sexual orientation, you shouldn’t have answered them because they break certain state and federal laws, according to Lori Adelson, a labor and employment attorney and partner with law firm Arnstein & Lehr.
However, there could be some exceptions.
"If the employer states questions so that they directly relate to specific occupational qualifications, then the questions may be legitimate,” Adelson told Business Insider.” Clearly, the intent behind the question needs to be examined."
Here are five of the questions from Business Insider’s list:
1. Have you ever been arrested?
While it’s illegal for an employer to ask about your arrest record, in some states the interviewer can ask if you’ve been convicted of a crime. In Philly, it is illegal for an employer to even ask about your criminal record under the Ban the Box law that was enacted in July 2011. Under the law, employers cannot ask about criminal convictions during the first job interview.
2. Are you married?
This question is unlawful because it reveals your marital status, which could also reveal your sexual orientation. Employers may ask this question to try to find out how much time you’d be able to commit, so make sure you’re cautious about answering!
3. What religious holidays do you practice?
While the interviewer may ask this one to see if the holidays you practice will interfere with your work, this question still reveals your religion which is also illegal.
4. Is English your first language?
While it’s against the law for employers to know which language was your first, they can ask you which other languages you’re fluent in.
5. How long have you been working?
This question is illegal because it allows employers to guess your age. They also can’t ask you what year you graduated from high school or college. One thing they can ask is how long you’ve been working in a particular industry.