HR departments nationwide have to deal with constant changes in laws, policies, and other forms of guidelines. This is because they handle many forms of sensitive data or processes related to their employees, such as social security numbers, health/medical info, and anonymous complaints. One area where HR departments constantly have to keep a close eye on how they operate is the interviewing process, especially the interview itself. New laws related to the interviewing process are passed or go into effect every year. Some questions are specifically illegal to ask and others are not, but are still a good idea to avoid. Read on to see which questions to avoid when you interview candidates for new jobs at your company.

“How many kids do you have?”
This question may be one that can be mean honestly enough and easily pop up in casual conversation, but resist the urge to ask, at least during the interview. Especially if the candidate is female, a question like this could be viewed as discrimination against pregnancy, especially if the candidate does not get the job. And unfortunately you wouldn’t know whether or not a female interviewee is pregnant because that question is literally not allowed to be asked under most situations. Even if the interviewee is a male this question posed during an interview can make the candidate think it is only being asked to rule them out because of the demands that go along with being a parent (especially a single parent).

“Do you need health insurance?”
This question can open up a can of worms during an interview that are just not necessary. If the job specifically does not offer insurance and you want to be honest about that, specifically point out that fact in the job posting or screening process prior to the interview. By asking this question during an interview, it opens the possibility of being in an awkward position where the follow up questions would be related to marital status, disability status, family status, etc; topics about which companies are not allowed to ask interview questions.

“What church do you go to?”
This is another question that comes up easily in casual conversation or may not even need to be verbalized because of a visual religious symbol: a rosary, a crucifix, or a religious tattoo. Doing so during an interview, especially an interview with someone who does not get hired, can open the door to the person claiming religious discrimination, which is illegal during the hiring process. The only time questions related to religion are permitted during an interview is if the organization hiring is a faith-based organization.

For more tips and advice on interviewing for your positions, get in touch with ACG Resources.