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Job Interview

At the time of an interview, an applicant is protected by both federal and state laws, especially the Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws. The applicant cannot be asked questions related to age, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, or any characteristic of the applicant that the law prohibits from considering in making a hiring decision. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against applicants who assert their rights under the law.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also bars questions concerning arrests and conviction records, unless the applicant is being considered for a security-sensitive job and the employer does an investigation to determine, in effect, whether the applicant was likely to commit the crime for which he or she was arrested. The EEOC also says that questions about the applicant’s conviction record are improper unless the employer shows that the conviction is in some way related to the position being applied for.

Applicants cannot be asked questions about their educational background, if the particular job does not require a particular level of education. Applicants can be asked about their educational background, schools attended, degrees earned, and vocational training when the performance of a job requires a particular level of education.

The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act provides that an employer cannot discriminate because an applicant is not a U.S. citizen. Therefore, the applicant cannot be asked question about nationality at the time of the interview or on a job application. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits general inquiries about disabilities, health problems, and medical conditions.

Objectionable Questions

  • Protesting Against Interview Questions About Sexual Orientation
  • Asking About the Applicant’s Maiden Name or Marital Status
  • Protesting Against Interview Questions About Sexual Orientation
  • Asking About Age
  • Asking about Pregnancy or About Plans to Have a Family
  • Asking Whether He/She is a Naturalized Citizen or Citizen of a Foreign Country or About Intention to Become a U.S. Citizen
  • Protesting Against Interview Questions About Religious Affiliation
  • Protesting Against Asking About Social or Political Group Membership
  • Asking to Submit a Photo
  • Asking Questions Related to Race or Color
  • Protesting Against Asking Questions About Disability
  • Asking Questions Which Discriminate Against Anyone, and that are based on race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, or disability. (Letters protesting against different kinds of unlawful interview questions are available on this site.)
know your rights now!