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Employers: What NOT To Ask In A Job Interview

By Lauren @BubbleJobs

Job interviews are all about getting as much information as possible out of the candidate, but there are certain boundaries that employers shouldn’t cross.

Even if the questions seem innocent, they could land you in hot water if the candidate was to complain, and not only that, they make you come across as unprofessional.

Previously on the Bubble blog, we’ve covered what a candidate shouldn’t ask in a job interview, but here are the questions an employer definitely shouldn’t ask:

1) Age-Related Questions

Age shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to recruitment, and asking a candidate how old they are is definitely something that should be avoided.

Even questions about when an older candidate might be considering retirement could still be viewed as discriminatory and shouldn’t be asked.

If there are age concerns around a candidate being within the age requirements for a job, the only acceptable question would be “Are you older than xx years old?”

2) Marital Status

Questions about a candidate’s personal relationships outside of work shouldn’t be touched upon, as they can be seen as discriminatory should the candidate not get the job in the end.

Similarly, questions about having children or plans to have children should be avoided.

If there are issues or worries about the candidate’s ability to do the job due to personal requirements, asking them if they have any responsibilities that might impact on their ability to do the the work required of them is much more diplomatic and doesn’t suggest any discrimination.

3) Religion

Any question to do with a candidate’s religious views will be viewed as discriminatory and should be avoided at all costs.

This has nothing to do with a candidate’s ability to do the job they’re interviewing for and shouldn’t be a reason to hire someone or not.

4) Disability or Illnesses

Asking a candidate if they have a disability or suffer from an illness when there’s no reason why you couldn’t accommodate them in your workplace might make your business liable to a discrimination case if the candidate was to complain.

The only times it’s acceptable to ask a candidate about a disability or illness are if there are necessary requirements of the job that can’t be met with adjustments or if you need to find out if someone needs help for a test or selection interview.

5) Criminal Convictions

Candidates aren’t required to tell you about any criminal convictions if they’ve been spent, and you’re required by law to treat the candidate as if the conviction never existed. What’s more, you can’t discriminate against the candidate because of that conviction. However, this doesn’t apply when recruiting for schools.


To round up, if you only ask candidates questions that are relevant to the job, avoid anything that could be viewed as discriminatory and treat each candidate equally then you should be fine!

So there we go, some tips on what definitely not to ask in a job interview to avoid landing yourself in some pretty hot water with your candidates!

Do you agree with the points or do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs!

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