13 Illegal Interview Questions. What Can A Job Seeker Do?

Most Job Seekers have no idea what an Illegal Interview question sounds like. Here is a list of 13 questions that a job interviewer should not be asking you. Remember the purpose of an interview is to get the job. So it is important that you understand how to answer even inappropriate interview questions.(Editor’s Notes)

13 Sample Illegal and Legal Interview Questions:

1. Age
  • How old are you?
  • What year were you born?
  • When did you graduate from high school?
  • Before hiring, asking if you are over the minimum age for the hours or working conditions.
  • After hiring, verifying same with a birth certificate or other ID, and asking age on insurance forms.

  • Are you a citizen of the US?
  • Are your parents or spouse citizens of the US?
  • On what dates did you , your parents or your spouse acquire US Citizenship?
  • Are you, your parents or your spouse naturalized or native-born US citizens?
  • If you are not a US citizen, do you have the legal right to remain permanently in the US?
  • What is your visa status (if no to the previous question).
  • Are you able to provide proof of employment eligibility upon hire?
3.Criminal Record
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever spent a night in jail?
    • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • What’s your medical history?
  • How does your condition affect your abilities?
  • Can you perform the specific duties of the job.
  • After hiring, ask about medical history on insurance forms.
  • Questions concerning spouse, or spouse’s employment, salary, arrangements, or dependents.
  • What kind of child care arrangements have you made?
  • How will your spouse feel about the amount of time you will be traveling if you get this job?
  • Can you work overtime?
  • Is there any reason you can’t start at 7:30 am?
  • Whether an applicant can meet specified work schedules or has activities or commitments that may prevent him or her from meeting attendance requirements.
6.Marital Status
  • Are you married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc?
  • Is this your maiden or married name?
  • What is the name of your relative/spouse/children?
  • Do you live with your parents?
  • After hiring, marital status on tax and insurance forms.
  • What type or condition is your military discharge?
  • Can you supply your discharge papers?
  • What is your experience in other than US armed forces?
  • Describe the relevant work experience as it relates to this position that you acquired from a US armed forces.
8.National Origin
  • What is your nationality?
  • Where were you born?
  • Where are your parents from?
  • What’s your heritage?
  • What is your mother tongue?
  • How did you acquire the ability to speak, read or write a foreign language?
  • How did you acquire familiarity with a foreign country?
  • What language is spoken in your home?
  • Verifying legal U.S. residence or work visa status.
  • What languages do you speak, read or write fluently?

9.Parental Status
  • How many kids do you have?
  • Do you plan to have children?
  • How old are your children?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • After hiring, asking for dependent information on tax and insurance forms.
10.Race or Skin Color
  • What race are you?
  • Are you a member of a minority group?


  • None


11.Religion or Creed
  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Which religious holidays will you be taking off from work?
  • Do you attend church regularly?
  • Can you work on Saturdays?


  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Do you live in town?
  • With whom do you live?


  • Inquiries about the address to facilitate contact with the applicant.
  • Will you be able to start work at 8:00am?


  • Do you wish to be addressed as Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?
  • What are your plans to have children in the future?


  • None

Source:University of Chicago 

Learn how to Ace your next Job Interview 



  2 comments for “13 Illegal Interview Questions. What Can A Job Seeker Do?

  1. BB
    February 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    it is NOT Illegal to ask how old one is before, or during an interview! I thought this was the case too and did some research and found out that it is perfectly within the legal rights of a company to find out how old you are – even before they interview you! I see this section on company’s on-line applications all the time! Check out this company’s on-line application http://www.kumandgo.com – it is a REQUIREMENT that you provide this information – along with your full SS # (this is on other applications too) on the application – there is no way to get around it.

    Like I said I have seen it on numerous on-line applications with companies and you must give it to them in order to proceed with the application!

    I just avoid these types of companies – which is too bad, because I have seen many opportunities that I would be interested in, however, with the personal identity security issues out there, I won’t give out this information! Who knows where your information might end up! I don’t understand why companies are requiring this on their applications – especially the on-line applications that they force you to fill out!

  2. Cara
    March 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    A majority of applications which I complete request dates, including years at educational
    This in itself reveals age.

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