What questions are allowed during a job interview?

The job search process is stressful enough for most people, especially when it comes time to attend interviews. However, something that can increase stress even more is attending an interview in which the interviewers ask uncomfortable questions or behave inappropriately. Some of these questions are even prohibited by law, so the candidate is not required to answer them. However, there are also times when the recruiter is polite and only asks appropriate questions allowed by law.

Allowable questions are the ones you would ask any candidate, as they focus on preparation, skills, and work experience. The questions that are not allowed are generally the most personal and specific about the candidate and can give way to a case of discrimination.

Examples of allowed questions:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are the activities that you carry out in your current job?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Are you capable of carrying out the activities necessary for the position you are applying for?
  • What is your last level of education?

Examples of illegal questions:

  • Where were you born?
  • Are you disabled?
  • What is your sexual orientation?
  • Are you married?
  • What’s your ethnicity?

There may also be exceptions around these prohibited or illegal questions depending on the state in which you are applying for employment or if the information is necessary to perform the functions. For example, an interviewer might ask your age if they think you look underage, and the job requires you to be of legal age to perform the necessary activities. It may also be illegal to ask someone about their citizenship; however, it is important to check if the candidate is legally allowed to work in the country.

It is essential that you know these questions in preparation for applying for a job. Knowing them will help you differentiate what is covered by the law and what is not, so you can easily decide not to respond to illegal ones.

In the event that illegal questions violate your rights during an interview, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at Guerra & Casillas.