Dresser & Associates

Guidelines on Employement Interview Questions

Any question asked during the selection and interview process must be related to the job and the performance of that job. Even so called "legal" questions can be improper if the employer can not demonstrate a job related necessity for asking the question. Legal questions can also be suspect if they are used in such a way so as to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability. For example, asking only females if they are available to work weekends and evenings can be viewed as discriminatory. Although this is a legitimate question, it is improper if not asked of all candidates.

Keeping these things in mind, the following list provides some general guidelines on the kinds of questions that should and should not be asked during the selection and interview process.

Topic Unacceptable Acceptable
Attendance & Reliability
  • Do you have any children? How many
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Are you married?
  • What hours and days can you work?
  • Are there specific times that you cannot work?
  • Do you have responsibilities other than work that will interfere with a specific job requirement such as traveling?
Citizenship/National Origin
  • What is your national origin?
  • Where are your parents from?
  • Are you legally eligible for employment in the United States?
  • Same as above.
For Reference Checking
  • What is your maiden name?
  • What is your father's surname
  • What are the names of your relatives?
  • Have you ever worked under a different name?
  • None
  • None
Arrests and Convictions
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If so, when, where and what was the disposition of the case?
  • Do you have any physical or mental disabilities?
  • Do you need an accopmmodation to do the job (may be asked only after a job offer has been made and accepted)
  • Can you perform the duties of the job you are applying for?
Date of Birth
  • When were you born?
  • If hired, are you able to furnish proof that you are over age 18?
Personal Finances
  • Do you own your home?
  • Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
  • None
  • None
Organization Membership
  • Are you a member of any social clubs, societies or lodges?
  • Inquiry into applicant's membership in organizations which are considered relevant to his or her ability to perform the job.
Military Record
  • What type of discharge did you receive?
  • What type of education, training, work experience did you receive while in the military?
  • What is your native language? Inquiries how applicant acquired ability to read/write/speak a foreign language.
  • Inquiry into languages applicant speaks and writes fluently only if the job requires the ability to converse in an additional language.
Race or Color
  • Comments or inquiries regarding the applicant's complexion or color of skin.
  • None
Worker's Compensation
  • Have you ever filed a workers compensation claim?
  • Have you had any prior work related injuries?
  • None
  • None
Martital Status
  • Do you wish to be addressed as Mrs.? Miss? or Ms.?
  • None
  • How long have you lived at your current address?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • None
  • None
  • When did you graduate from high school or college?
  • Do you have a high school/GED or college degree (if having such degree is part of the job's requirements)?
  • How tall are you?
  • How much do you weight?
  • Only permissible if related to bona fide occupational qualification

The information provided on this page is from utdallas.edu.