Interview Inquiries

Below is a table with some examples of appropriate and inappropriate inquiries during the hiring process.

Subject Appropriate Inquiries Inappropriate Inquiries
Age None. Questions about age, date of birth, requests for birth certificate.
Arrests/Convictions May ask if any record of criminal convictions and/or offenses exist, if all applicants are asked. Inquiries regarding arrest record.
Height and Weight None. Inquiries about the applicant’s height or weight.
Citizenship May ask questions about legal authorization to work in the specific position if all applicants are asked. May not ask if person is a U.S. citizen or what citizenship the person holds.
Education Inquiries about degree or equivalent experience.


Disability May ask about applicant’s ability to perform job-related functions. Question (or series of questions) that is likely to solicit information about a disability.
Marital or Parental Status Whether applicant can meet work schedule or job requirements. Should be asked of all genders. Any inquiry about marital status, children, pregnancy, or child care plans.
National Origin May ask if legally authorized to work in this specific position if all applicants are asked. May not ask a person’s birthplace; if the person is a U.S. citizen; questions about the person’s lineage, ancestry, descent or parentage; how the person acquired the ability to speak/read/learn a foreign language.
Personal Finances None. Inquiries regarding credit record, owning a home, or garnishment record.
Photograph None. Any inquiry for a photograph prior to hire.
Political Affiliation None. Inquiries about membership in a political party.
Organizations Inquiries about professional organizations related to the position. Inquiries about personal or professional organizations suggesting race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, disability, or veteran status.
Race or Color None. Comments about complexion or color of skin.
Religion Describe the work schedule and ask whether applicant can work that schedule. Should be asked of all applicants. Inquiries about religious preferences, affiliation, denominations, church, and religious holidays observed.
Language If a job requirement: Do you speak, read, or write (specific) language? What is your native tongue?
Military Record None, except as relates to job-related experience or education during military service. Type or condition of discharge.