10 Illegal Job Interview Questions

Posted by: Brookside Admin

When you are looking for a job, the prospect of an interview can be exciting. However, there are still certain things that prospective employers cannot ask in a job interview. To help you be prepared, here at 10 illegal job interview questions:


Interviewers cannot ask any questions that pertain to your marital status or to your sexual orientation. These questions include maiden names and how you want to be addressed, such as Mrs., Miss, or Ms.


Questions that revolve around children are off limits as well as they can be taken as family status discrimination. These questions include anything about childcare, unwed mothers, pregnancy status, or future pregnancy plans.


Unless a car is a necessity of the position, interviewers should not ask about any type of past or present assets, or finances in general. They can ask about attendance and reliability, but not in a way that reflects what your finances are.

Graduation Dates

Interviewers can ask questions about experience and education, however, they cannot ask about specific dates. These dates include anything that could reveal a potential employee’s age, such as their birth year, what year they graduated high school or college, or how long they have been working.

National Origin

An interview can ask if you are legally authorized to work in the United States, but they cannot ask about your national origin. Some questions that are off limits include: where your accent is from, is English your first language, and what country you are from.

Drinking Habits

Potential employers cannot ask about your drinking habits as it could violate the Americans With Disabilities Act, especially if someone they are interviewing is a functioning or recovering alcoholic.

Illegal Drug Use

There is a fine line here to what employers can and cannot ask. For example, they can inquire if you currently do any type of illegal drugs, which covers the last few months; but they cannot ask if you have a history of drug addiction. Past use is covered by the ADA, however current usage is not.

Arrest Records

During an interview, a potential employer can ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. However, they cannot ask about a potential employee’s arrest record.


Usually, interviewers may ask this question in the form of “Do you need any religious holidays off?” No matter how they ask, it is illegal for any interviewer or employer to ask about a candidate’s religious beliefs. They can ask about a candidate’s availability on specific days, but not if it involves any type of religious information.

Military Discharge

While employers will ask about education, experience, and training in the military, they cannot ask if you were discharged honorably or not.

While these are only 10 of the areas that a potential employer cannot ask about, there is other information which is off limits as well. If you have questions or concerns about a job interview, your current position, or other work related issues, please call today for a free consultation (918) 582 – 2500. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to answer any questions that you might have concerning workplace issues.

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