Questions Not to Ask During Interviews

Some questions are illegal to ask during job interviews. Here is a checklist with the questions you should sidestep.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, as well as federal and state laws, prohibit asking certain questions of a job applicant, either on the application form or during the interview. What questions should you sidestep? Basically, you can't ask about anything not directly related to the job, including:

Age or date of birth (if interviewing a teenager, you can ask if he or she is 16 years old)
Sex, race, creed, color, religion or national origin
Disabilities of any kind
Date and type of military discharge
Marital status
Maiden name (for female applicants)
If a person is a citizen; however, you can ask if he or she has the legal right to work in the United States

Other questions you should avoid include:

How many children do you have? How old are they? Who will care for them while you are at work?
Have you ever been treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist?
Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism?
Have you ever been arrested? (You may, however, ask if the person has been convicted if it is accompanied by a statement saying that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant for employment.)
How many days were you sick last year?
Have you ever filed for worker's compensation? Have you ever been injured on the job?

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.