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Career Services

Illegal Questions

Guidelines for Pre-Employment Interview Questions

Subject
Acceptable
Unacceptable
Name
Name. 
"To enable us to check on your work and education record, is any additional information necessary relative to change of name, use of an assumed name or a nickname? If yes, please explain."
Maiden name.
Residence
Place of Residence"Do you own or rent your home?"
Age
Statement that hiring is subject to verification that applicant meets legal age requirements."If hired can you show proof of age?""Are you over eighteen years of age?""If under eighteen, can you, after employment, submit a work permit?"Age. 
Birthdate. 
Dates of attendance or completion of elementary or high school. 
Questions which tend to identify applicants over age 40.
Birthplace, 
Citizenship
"Can you, after employment, submit verification of your legal right to work in the United States?" Or, statement that such proof may be required after employment.Birthplace of applicant's parents, spouse, or other relatives. 
"Are you a U.S. citizen?" Or, citizenship of applicant, applicant's parents, spouse, or other relatives. 
Requirements that applicant first produce naturalization papers, or alien card prior to employment.
National Origin
"This position requires multi-lingual skills. What languages do you read, speak, or write?"Questions as to nationality, lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, or parentage of applicant, applicant's parents, or spouse."What is your mother's tongue?" Or, "Language commonly used by applicant." How applicant acquired ability to read, write or speak a foreign language.
Sex, Marital Status, Family
Name and address of parent or guardian if applicant is a minor. 
Statement of policy regarding work assignment of employees who are related.
Questions which indicate applicant's sex. 
Questions which indicate applicant's marital status. 
Number and/or ages of children or dependents. 
Provisions for child care. 
Questions regarding pregnancy, child bearing, or birth control. 
Name or address of relative, spouse, or children of adult applicant. 
"With whom do you reside?" Or, "Do you live with your parents?"
Race, Color
 Questions as to applicant's race or color. 
Questions regarding applicant's complexion or color of skin, eyes, hair.
Physical description, Photograph
Statement that photograph may be required after employment.Questions as to applicant's height and weight. 
Require applicant to affix a photograph to application. 
Request applicant, at his or her option, to submit a photograph. 
Require a photograph after interview but before employment.
Physical condition, Handicap
Statement by employer that offer may be made contingent on applicant passing a job-related physical examination.Questions regarding applicant's general medical condition, state of health. 
Questions regarding receipt of Worker's Compensation. 
"Do you have any physical disabilities or handicaps?"
Religion
Statement by employer of regular days, hours, or shifts to be worked.Questions regarding applicant's religion. 
Religious days observed or "Does your religion prevent you from working weekends or holidays?"
Arrest, Criminal Record
"Have you ever been convicted of a felony, (specified time period) or a misdemeanor which resulted in imprisonment?" (Such a question must be accompanied by a statement that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify applicant from the job applied for).Arrest record. Or, "Have you ever been arrested?"
Bonding
Statement that bonding is a condition of hire.Questions regarding refusal or cancellation of bonding.
Military Service
Questions regarding relevant skills acquired during applicant's U.S. military service.General questions regarding military services such as dates and type of discharge. 
Questions regarding service in a foreign military.
Economic Status
 Questions regarding applicant's current or past assets, liabilities, or credit rating, including bankruptcy or garnishment.
Activities
Please list job-related organizations, clubs, professional societies, or other associations to which you belong – you may omit those which indicate your race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or age.List all organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges to which you belong.
References
"By whom were you referred for your position here?" 
Names of persons willing to provide professional and/or character references for applicant.
Detailed questions about applicant's former employers, or questions which elicit information specifying the applicant's race, color, names, creed, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, martial status, age or sex.
Emergency Notification
A request for the name and address of a person to be notified in an emergency is proper after you have been hired. 
From: 2002 AAEE Job Search Handbook 
Career Services, Central Washington University, Bouillon 206
Ellensburg, WA. 509.963.1921