News Flash! These 10 Interview Questions Are Actually Illegal

Dana Covit

We've all been there: It's a second round interview and you really want to tout all of the details of your strengths and achievements. After all, you've made it past the dreaded resume pile and now is the time to really shine. But, before you get going, did you know that there are several interview questions that are actually illegal for prospective employers to ask applicants? Generally, all questions that do not directly pertain to the job at hand are off-limits (so, questions regarding age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation are not allowed).

According to Business Insider and Lori Adelson, a labor and employment attorney, if asked any of these inappropriate questions, it's best to decline to answer, rather than side-step or lie. Read on to learn 10 interview questions that are breaking the law.

  1. Have you ever been arrested? (Employers can, however, legally ask if you've ever been convicted of a crime.)
  2. Are you married?
  3. What religious holidays do you practice?
  4. Do you have children? 
  5. What country are you from?
  6. Is English your first language?
  7. Do you have any outstanding debt?
  8. Do you drink socially?
  9. When was the last time you used illegal drugs? (Though it's illegal for employers to ask about past drug addiction, they can ask you if you're currently using.)
  10. How long have you been working?​

Did you know about these illegal interview questions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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