Legal & Illegal Employment Interview Questions

Written by nicole skubal
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Legal & Illegal Employment Interview Questions
You can refuse to answer illegal job interview questions. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When you're job hunting, you should be prepared for interviews. Review your resume and work history so you have specific experiences and accomplishments ready to discuss. It's a good idea to research the company you're meeting with so you can ask informed questions about the position and its relationship to the business overall. You should also know what sort of questions the interviewer may or may not ask you during your meeting.

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Personal Characteristics

It's completely acceptable for an interviewer to ask you to tell him about yourself. However, "USA Today" notes employer questions must be built around learning if a candidate has the capabilities to perform the job for which she is interviewing. If an interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, the right tactic is to detail your work history, applicable educational background and other qualities that relate to the job at hand. Your race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, number of children and the like or direct questions relating to these topics are illegal.

Age

Age discrimination is against the law in the United States. While a potential employer may ask you if you are the age of 18 or older, it is illegal to directly ask you your age. This includes fishing questions that may help an interviewer discover your age, such as asking about your birthday or the year you graduated from high school.

Finances

While some jobs may require a credit check for hiring purposes, it is not acceptable for an interviewer to ask you questions about your personal debt, the income your spouse or partner makes or other questions related to your financial situation. This includes questions related to home ownership, mortgage and even questions about where and how you vacation.

Disabilities

It is not acceptable to discuss your health during a job interview, nor may a potential employer ask you to complete a health history about yourself or any family members. You may be asked if you are able to perform the job duties at hand with or without reasonable accommodations; however, that is the extent of such questions. "USA Today" notes it is only acceptable to ask this once the job duties have been described in full.

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