Tips For Navigating Legally Permissible Interview Questions

One of the biggest hurdles that many new business owners face is the hiring process. After all, there are so many regulations about what you can and cannot ask during interviews that it is sometimes tough to keep up. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you'll want to understand a few things about what is and is not permissible in interviews. Here are a few tips to help you understand those limitations.

Family Status Questions

It isn't permitted to question a prospective employee about their marital status. A question of that nature can lead to an inadvertent disclosure of the individual's orientation, which is information that is also protected by law. It is also illegal for you to ask about family structure, including children. Information of that sort isn't relevant to the job and could be considered discriminatory.

You can, however ask that individual if he or she has ever attended school or worked under another name. That is relevant to your ability to verify application information, including education and work history. Similarly, you can ask an interviewee if there are any other commitments that could interfere with the required work hours or other necessary job duties.

Age Inquiries

An applicant's age is another thing that's considered off limits. You cannot ask any question that could inadvertently disclose someone's age. For example, it isn't legal to ask when someone's birthday is or how long he or she has been working. You're also not permitted to ask other questions that could tell you how old the individual is, such as when the candidate graduated from high school or obtained a degree.

You are legally allowed to ask how long the person has been employed in a specific field or how long the person held a particular position if it is relevant to the job they are interviewing for. This doesn't disclose age, but does allow you to evaluate experience.

These are two of the most common issues that arise during job interviews. There are other questions and topics that are not permissible as well, so it's often in your best interest to work with a business attorney, like Souders Law Group, who can help you draft a standard list of interview questions. This helps to ensure that you don't ask a question that could leave you facing potential legal ramifications later. In addition, your attorney may even be able to help you develop a solid background check process so that every applicant is vetted through the same steps.

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