The number one important thing to know is that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (known as the “EEOC”) is very strict when it comes to protecting job candidates and employees from discrimination in the workplace.
As an employer, it is best to avoid interview questions about age, disability, genetic information, race or ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, having children, pregnancy, or planning to start a family. Again, questions that can appear discriminatory include questions that relate to the following:
- where a candidate lives
- their age
- their arrest record
- national origin
- credit history
- family status
- financial status
- marital status
- race or color
- sexual orientation
Here are some good rules of thumb to avoid the appearance of discrimination:
- Stay away from any question or topic that isn’t related directly to the job.
- Resist the temptation to talk about personal matters
- Don’t ask about anything you can learn from another source.
- Discuss what traits and skills are needed for the role.
Accordingly, here are some example questions to avoid:
- “What Part of the City Do You Live in?”
- “What Class Were You?”
- “When Was The Last Time You Used Drugs?”
- “Have You Ever Had a Brush With the Law?”
- “Where Are You From?”
- “How Many Kids Do You Have?”
- “How Old Are You?”
Furthermore, making and using a standard set of questions which are used for each and every candidate may help you successfully avoid claims of discrimination later.