Many times, Woodland employers ask seemingly innocent questions during job interviews that, unbeknownst to them, are actually illegal or inappropriate. Typically, these questions involve lifestyle, age, religion, and family responsibilities. To help you avoid getting into hot water, here’s a look at 8 of them:

1. Are you married?

This question is certainly innocent in almost any setting…except a job interview. This question is a no-no because, by law, you cannot discriminate on the basis of marital status.

2. Do you have kids?

The same goes for this question. While you might be making small talk, you’re stepping out of bounds by asking this question.

3. Do you plan on having kids?

Some employers are reluctant to hire women of a certain age due to a fear that they’ll invest resources in hiring and training, only to have the women leave after a year or two in order to have kids. Regardless of the concern, it’s illegal to ask this question.

4. Are you a U.S. citizen?

This might seem like the most basic and simple question. But it’s also hands off. If you want to find out if the candidate can legally work for your firm, ask instead whether they are authorized to work in the U.S.

5. Are you a member of the National Guard?

When an employee leaves for duty, it can disrupt productivity. However, it’s illegal to discriminate against a candidate because they belong to the Guard or to a reserve unit.

6. Do you have any disabilities?

Asking questions about a person’s health or disabilities is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, you can inquire about a candidate’s ability to perform job duties and you may conduct tests, within certain limits, to determine if the candidate can in fact perform the required duties.

7. How old are you?

Asking about age can set you up for discrimination woes down the road if you chose not to hire the candidate. Instead, simply verify that the candidate is legally old enough to work at your company.

8. How do you feel about supervising men or women?

While this question may seem valid, it’s also inappropriate to ask during a job interview. Instead, ask the candidate about their experience managing other people.

If you’d like additional help interviewing candidates, please contact Pacific Staffing. As a Woodland staffing services firm, we can recruit, screen, and interview candidates for you – so you can hire the one that is just right for your position.