Questions You Should Avoid Asking During a Job Interview

August 30, 2023

Are there specific subjects that you should completely avoid discussing when interviewing a candidate for a job?

While delving into personal matters can be acceptable during a job interview, it’s important that your questions directly relate to the candidate’s ability to perform the job at hand. Before asking a question, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, ‘Does this pertain to job performance?’ If the answer is no, you should avoid asking about it.

There are also certain factors that must be left out of your decision-making process when hiring a new employee. Therefore, it is advised that you avoid asking candidates about the following subjects:

1️⃣ Age
Unless it’s relevant to the employment of a minor (below 18), you should avoid inquiring about a candidate’s age.

2️⃣ Health/Illness
You can ask about specific illnesses or conditions that could directly impact job performance but not about general health. Additionally, questions about past sick days should be avoided.

3️⃣ Pregnancy
Avoid asking questions like “Are you planning to have (more) children?” or “Are you pregnant?”

4️⃣ Ethnicity, Race, Religion, Beliefs, Gender, Sexual orientation, or Political Standpoint
It is prohibited to focus on a candidate’s ethnicity, race, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or political views during the hiring process, as these aspects hold no relevance to their future job performance. Therefore, you should avoid asking about them.

By refraining from asking inappropriate questions, you demonstrate your commitment to upholding professional standards and treating all candidates with respect. Remember, an interview is not only an opportunity for you to evaluate a candidate’s suitability, but also a chance for candidates to assess whether your company aligns with their values. By conducting interviews ethically and responsibly, you set the stage for building a diverse and talented workforce.