Illegal Questions

What's Legal and What's Not
Inquiry Area Illegal Questions Legal Questions
National Origin/ Citizenship
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
  • Where were you/your parents born?
  • What is your "native tongue?"
  • Are you authorized to work in the United States?
  • What language do you read/speak/ write fluently? (This question is okay only if this ability is relevant to the performance on the job.)
  • How old are you?
  • What's your birth date?
  • Are you over the age of 18?
Marital/ Family Status
  • What's your marital status?
  • With whom do you live?
  • Do you plan to have a family?  When?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • What are your child care arrangements?
  • Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?
  • Would you be able and willing to travel as needed for the job?  (This question is okay if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)
  • Would you be able and willing to work overtime as necessary?  (This question is okay if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)
  • What clubs or social organizations do you belong to?
  • List any professional or trade groups or other organizations that you belong to that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job.
  • How tall are you?  How much do you weigh?  (Questions about height & weight are not acceptable unless minimum standards are essential for the safe performance of the job.)
  • Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as this is part of the job?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Please complete the following medical history.
  • Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations?  If yes, list them and give dates when these occurred.
  • What was the date of your last physical exam?
  • How's your family's health?
  • When did you lose your eyesight?  How?
  • Do you need an accommodation to perform the job?  (This question can be asked only after a job offer has been made.)
  • Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job?  (This question is okay of the interviewer has thoroughly described the job.)
  • Can you demonstrate how you would perform the following job-related functions?
  • As part of the hiring process, after a job offer has been made, you will be required to undergo a medical exam.  (Exam results must be kept strictly confidential, except medical/safety personnel may be informed if emergency medical treatment is required, and supervisors may be informed about necessary job accommodations, based on exam results.)
Arrest Record
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever been convicted of ____?  (The crime named should be reasonably related to that performance of the job in question.)
  • If you've been in the military, were you honorably discharged?
  • In what branch of the armed forces did you serve?
  • What type of training or education did you receive in the military?