Interview Questions.doc - Interview Questions

By Leslie Harper,2014-05-15 23:12
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Questions asked in an interview may be vulnerable to misinterpretation and/or knowing violation of laws. The Pre-employment Inquiry Guidelines2 below may


The California Fair Employment Practices Act provides that no pre-employment inquiries or specifications, direct

    or indirect, may be made concerning a job applicant's race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, 1sex, medical condition, or physical handicap. The Act further prohibits any nonjob-related inquiry, either verbal or through use of an application form, which may directly or indirectly affect the employment

    opportunities of those protected by the Act. The Act does not otherwise limit the rights of employers to seek full

    information about the prospective employees or to establish the job performance qualifications they consider

    essential. Whatever qualifications or standards are set, however, must be applied equally to all persons.

Questions asked in an interview may be vulnerable to misinterpretation and/or knowing violation of laws. The 2Pre-employment Inquiry Guidelines below may help to formulate acceptable, appropriate interview questions.

    In all situations, whether or not covered by the examples shown here, pre-employment inquiries must be job-


    Subject Acceptable Pre-Employment Unacceptable Pre-Employment Inquiries


    ? "Have you ever used another name?" ? Maiden name. Name ? "Is any additional information relative to change of name, use of an

    assumed name, or nickname

    necessary to enable a check on your

    work and education record? If yes,

    please explain."

    Residence ? Place of residence. ? "Do you own or rent your home?"

    Age ? Statement that hire is subject to ? Age.

    verification that applicant meets legal ? Birth date.

    age requirements. ? Dates of attendance or completion of

    ? "If hired, can you show proof of age?" elementary school or high school.

    ? "Are you over 18 years of age?" ? Questions which tend to identify applicants

    ? "If under 18, can you, after over age 40.

    employment, submit a work permit?"

    Birthplace, ? "Can you, after employment, submit ? Birthplace of applicant, applicant's parents,

    Citizenship verification of your legal right to work spouse, or other relatives.

    in the United States?" ? "Are you a U.S. citizen?" or citizenship of

    ? Statement that such proof may be applicant, applicant's parents, spouse, or other

    required after a decision is made to relatives.

    hire a candidate. ? Requirements that applicant produce

    naturalization, first papers, or alien card prior

    to a decision to hire.

    ? Language applicant reads, speaks, or ? Questions as to nationality, lineage, ancestry, National Origin writes, if use of a language other than national origin, descent, or parentage of

    English is relevant to the job for applicant, applicant's parents, or spouse.

    which applicant is applying. ? "What is your mother tongue?" or language

    commonly used by applicant.

    ? How applicant acquired ability to read, write,

    or speak a foreign language.

    Gender ? Name and address of parent or ? Questions that indicate applicant's gender. Marital Status guardian, if applicant is a minor. ? Questions that indicate applicant's marital

    Family ? Statements of company policy status.

    regarding work assignment of ? Number and/or ages of children or dependents.

    employees who are related. ? Provisions for child care.

    ? Questions regarding pregnancy, child bearing,

    or birth control.

     1 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that "You may not make pre-employment inquiry of an applicant as to whether the applicant is a handicapped person or as to the nature or severity of the handicap. You may, however, make pre-employment inquiry into an applicant's ability to perform job-related functions."

    2 Reprinted from the State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Pre-Employment Inquiry Guidelines (Rev. 12/93).

    Subject Acceptable Pre-Employment Unacceptable Pre-Employment Inquiries


    ? Name and address of relative, spouse, or

    children of adult applicant.

    ? "With whom do you reside?" or "Do you live

    with your parents?" Credit Report ? Any report that would indicate information for which it is otherwise illegal to ask, e.g., marital status, age, residency, etc.

     Race ? Questions as to applicant's race or color. Color ? Questions regarding applicant's complexion or

    color of eyes, skin, or hair.

    Physical ? Statement that photograph may be ? Questions as to applicant's height and weight. Description, required after employment. ? Requiring applicant to affix a photograph to Photograph application.

    ? Requesting applicant, at his or her option, to

    submit a photograph.

    ? Requiring a photograph after interview but

    before employment.

    ? Videotaping Interviews

    ? Statement by employer of regular ? Questions regarding applicant's religion. Religion days, hours, or shifts to be worked. ? Religious days observed, or "Does your religion

    prevent you from working weekends or


    Physical or ? Statements by employer that offer ? Questions regarding applicant's general

    Mental may be made contingent on applicant medical condition, state of health, or illnesses. Disability passing a job-related physical ? Questions regarding receipt of Workers'

    examination. Compensation. ? "Can you perform (specific task)?" ? "Do you have any physical disabilities or

     handicaps?" Arrests / ? Job-related questions about ? Arrest record, or "Have you ever been

    Criminal convictions, except those convictions arrested?" (This is a violation of California

    Records that have been sealed, expunged, or Labor Code Section 432.7, which is enforced

    statutorily eradicated. by the Labor Commissioner.) Military Service ? Questions regarding relevant skills ? General questions regarding military service

    acquired during applicant's U.S. such as dates and type of discharge.

    military service. ? Questions regarding service in a foreign


    Organizations ? "Please list job-related organizations, ? "List all organizations, clubs, societies, and

    Activities clubs, professional societies, or other lodges to which you belong."

    associations to which you belong.

    You may omit those that indicate

    your race, religious creed, color,

    national origin, ancestry, sex, or


    References ? "By whom were you referred for a ? Questions about applicant's former employers

     position here?" or acquaintances that elicit information

    ? Names of persons willing to provide specifying the applicant's race, color, religious

    professional and/or character creed, national origin, ancestry, physical or

    references for the applicant. mental disability, medical condition, marital

    status, age, or sex. Notify in Case of ? Name and address of person to be ? Name, address, and relationship of relative to

    Emergency notified in case of accident or be notified in case of accident or emergency.


    Source: HR-EO/Staff AA Supervisory Training Laboratory

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