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Acceptable and Unacceptable Inquiries for Interviews

TOPIC ACCEPTABLE UNACCEPTABLE If unacceptable, why?


Attendance/Reliability What hours and days can you How many children do you have? Could be viewed as discriminatory
work? toward females

Are there specific times that you What religion are you? Could be viewed as religious
cannot work? discrimination

Do you have responsibilities other What are your child care Could be viewed as discriminatory
than work that will interfere with arrangements? toward females
specific job requirements such as
traveling?

Do you have a reliable method of Do you own a car? Irrelevant and could be considered
getting to work? racial discrimination
Citizenship/ Are you legally eligible for What is your national origin? Could be considered national origin
National Origin employment in the United States? Where are your parents from? discrimination

Have you ever worked under a What is your maiden name? Could be considered national origin
different name? discrimination
National Origin None What is your father’s surname? Not only are these irrelevant, but
What are the names of your they could be considered national
relatives? origin discrimination

Arrest and Have you ever been convicted of a Have you ever been arrested? Could be considered racial
conviction felony? discrimination
* Please see note below for additional
guidance

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TOPIC ACCEPTABLE UNACCEPTABLE If unacceptable, why?
Disabilities None Have you ever filed a workers’ Could be considered discrimination
compensation claim? against disabled persons
Have you ever been injured on
the job?

None How is your health? Could be considered discrimination


against disabled persons
Emergency contact What is the name and address of What is the name and address of Could be considered national origin
information the person to be notified in case of the relative to be notified in case discrimination and possibly could
an emergency? (Requested only of an emergency? violate state anti-discrimination
after the individual has been laws relative to sexual orientation
employed)
Credit record None Do you own your own home? Irrelevant and could be considered
racial discrimination

Credit references may be used if in Have your wages ever been Irrelevant and could be considered
compliance with the Fair Credit garnished? racial discrimination
Reporting Act of 1970 and the
Consumer Credit Reporting
Reform Act of 1996

None Have you ever declared Irrelevant and could be considered


bankruptcy? racial discrimination
Military record What type of education, training What type of discharge did you Irrelevant and could be considered
and work experience relevant to receive? racial discrimination
job did you receive while in the
military?

Language What languages do you speak and What is your native language? Could be considered national origin
write fluently? (if the job requires How did you learn to read, write discrimination
additional languages) or speak a foreign language?
You speak with an accent…
Where are you from?

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TOPIC ACCEPTABLE UNACCEPTABLE If unacceptable, why?
Organizations Inquiry into an applicant’s List all clubs, societies and lodges Could be considered racial or
membership in organizations that to which you belong. national origin discrimination
the applicant considers relevant to
his or her ability to perform job
Race or Color None What is your complexion or skin Could be considered racial or
color? national origin discrimination

Weight, Height, Eye Color [Can be asked only if there is a Could be considered racial or
bona fide occupational national origin discrimination
qualification]
Religion [Can be asked only if there is a What is your religious Could be considered religious
bona fide occupational denomination, religious discrimination
qualification] affiliations, church, parish,
pastor? What religious holidays
do you observe?
Gender [Can be asked only if there is a Do you wish to be addressed as Could be considered gender
bona fide occupational Mr.?, Mrs.?, Miss? or Ms.? discrimination
qualification]
Marital Status None Are you married, divorced, Irrelevant. Could be considered
separated, widowed or single? gender discrimination and possibly
could violate state anti-
discrimination laws relative to
sexual orientation
Previous and current None What was your previous address? Could be considered racial or
addresses How long did you reside there? national origin discrimination
How long have you lived at your
current address? Do you own
your own home?
Education Do you have a high school What year did you graduate from Could be considered age
diploma or equivalent? Do you high school or college? discrimination
have a university or college
degree? (if relevant to job
performance)