What Can't They Ask on an Interview? | JobSearchTV.com

What are illegal interview questions?


1 month ago|3 min read


What Can’t They Ask on an Interview? | JobSearchTV.com

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

What are illegal interview questions? That’s what I cover in. this video.

What can’t they ask me on an interview? What questions are blatantly illegal, that a company should not ask you. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. And there’s a number of things that they can’t really ask you about. age, race, ethnicity, color, gender, ***, sexual orientation, or gender identity, country of origin, birthplace, religion, disability, marital status, family status, pregnancy, salary history.

Now, I’ll just simply say, California does a great job of even expanding this and your state may have similar restrictions to California. And just be aware that you need to check in your own state if you have any concern about some of these items.

Maiden name, whether you own or rent where you live, your birthday (because that identifies your age), when you went to school (because that identifies your age) questions that tend to identify applicants as over 40, where you were born, or the applicant’s parents, spouse or other relatives, that you produce naturalizations or an alien card prior to employment. Follow?

So questions about nationality, lineage, ancestry, national origin, religious days observed–whether you’re Orthodox Jewish, or Muslim, or have some other faith different than the norm. That’s something to be concerned (and the norm is Christian in the United States). Questions to indicate your ***, marital status, number and age of children or dependents. Questions about childbirth or birth control? Believe it or not, some people used to ask that question. names and addresses of relative spouses or children of applicant of the applicant.

There’s lots of stuff here that can be asked very casually. So where do you live? And how much did that place cost you when you bought it? That assumes that you bought your home? Notice how casually that can come across any report that would indicate information which is otherwise illegal to ask. So that’s about a credit report.

Questions about your complexion, eye color, hair, questions about your height and weight (because again, these are about appearance; they have nothing to do with your capability to do the job). That’s your general health or medical condition, psychological or medical exams you’ve had,  anything that doesn’t relate to the workplace.

Whether you served in the military, because in California, they may not necessarily like that you’re served in the military. Questions regarding organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges, references questions about former employers or acquaintances which elicit information specifying race, religion, or anything else. These are some of the things that California doesn’t accept. Other states may be more lenient, or even less lenient than California. But these are things just to be aware of. File them away in your mind.

And it’s not like you’re going to interrupt the interviewer and go, “that’s an illegal question!” What you can do is say, “I’m sure you know that that’s not exactly the right question to ask on an interview.  That it’s actually prohibited by law. I know that wasn’t your intention.” But you just do it very casually.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, (he/him/his), has helped companies hire talent and people find work. More than 40 years of recruiting experience assisting individuals to improve their career as an executive recruiter. Now, a career coach, leadership coach, and executive coach. I coach over Zoom. Do you need help becoming the leader you want to be? Do you need help with a career transition or in your role as an executive? Schedule a free discovery call or coaching session at TheBigGameHunter.us My previous work allowed me to do successfully complete searches in 49 of 50 states plus Canada for positions ranging from C-suite to the staff needed to accomplish objectives, increasing a firm's profitability and market share, working with brand name organizations and startups alike.. HOWEVER, I have transitioned to coaching where I take a holistic approach to career coaching by helping people be more successful changing jobs or careers, hiring more effectively, managing and leading, as well as resolving specific workplace issues. Listen to the #1 podcast for job search, No B.S. Job Search Advice Radio in iTunes, Spotify (video podcast), Google Play and others. JobSearchTV.com has an enormous library of career content. You can also watch me on the Job Search TV app for Fire TV and firestick. On Apple TV, Roku and 90+ platforms, watch me on Bingenetworks.tv.



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