Indiana University

Human Resources

Questions we should never ask during interviews

Based on Federal legislation, court decision, various executive orders and EEOC regulations, certain inquires are no longer made during the interviewing process. The interviewing process includes the application as well as the formal interview.

While the inquiries may not be specifically prohibited, it may be preferred that they not be made. From our own protective point of view, certain inquiries can leave us suspect and vulnerable if an applicant is denied employment and files a discrimination complaint.

Keep in mind that qualifications and inquiries should be job related. Ask all applicants, both male and female, the same questions. An employer may not ask a third party (such as a state agency, applicant's friends, families or former employers) any questions that it could not directly ask the applicant.

We do not ask the following:

  1. Where were you born? *
  2. You seem to have an accent; were you born outside the United States?
  3. Why are you interested in this job, which is traditionally male/female?
  4. What church do you attend?
  5. Have you ever been "arrested" for a crime?
  6. What is your (or your wife's) maiden name?
  7. To what social club, societies and/or lodges do you belong?
  8. Are you pregnant?
  9. How many children do you have?
  10. Are you planning to have children?
  11. Do you have a baby sitter?
  12. Do you have transportation to and from work?
  13. Are you married?
  14. Are you the head of household?
  15. How old are you?
  16. Do you have any disabilities?
  17. Have you ever filed for workers' compensation?
  18. How many days have you missed in the last (month, year, etc) because of sickness?
  19. Are you a U.S. citizen? **

* You may ask "How long have you been a resident of this city or state?"

** You may ask "Can you work full time in this country without any restrictions?"