Office of Affirmative Action

Examples of Employment Questions that Should Not Be Asked of Candidates Being Interviewed 

Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

What is your race/ethnicity? Have you ever accused an employer of racism? Do you speak English at home? Do you believe that people in American should speak English? Will you wear American clothes or your native dress to work? What is your opinion of ____ (for example, a political extremist of the same race/ethnicity/nationality as the candidate)?

Sex

Are you single? Are you married? Are you pregnant? Do you intend to have children? What child care plans have you made? What does your husband/wife/partner do? Can you come to my conference hotel room for drinks to discuss the position this evening? What is your sexual preference? Are you flexible and open to experiencing life fully (sexual connotation)?

Age

How old are you? Are you energetic? Can you work for a young department head? Will you be able to go with the gang to the cocktail hour after work on Fridays? Are you the type of person who would be willing to share your wisdom with staff members who need your help? Do you think you can fit in (or be collegial) with a young staff?

Disability

Will you come to work on time? How often will you need to see your doctor? Are you on medication? Do you have your own personal liability coverage? Will your insurance company or veteran's benefits pay for any modifications to the building to accommodate you? Do you think you can fit in (or be collegial) with a fast-paced department?

Religion

What is your religion? Do you intend to take time off work for your religious holidays? Do you have some unusual religious practices that we should be aware of? Do you think you can fit in (or be collegial) with our mostly Protestant department?