Melissa  Kilday
about 5 years ago by Melissa Kilday

5 questions NOT to ask in an interview

interview, applicant, employer, meeting, window, women, business, professionals

”Are you married?”
Just making small talk? Try to avoid this question as a topic! The question can’t be asked for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it could be interpreted by the candidate as a way for you to find out their sexual orientation.  Secondly, it could look as though you are trying to find out future family plans for the candidate such as kids etc.

”Do you have any kids/plan on having kids?”
Under no circumstances should you ask the candidate if they have children, or if they plan on having children in the future.  These kinds of questions could make the candidate feel awkward and pressured. They may also feel they could be overlooked if they do have children.

”How old are you?”
Asking a candidate about their age is illegal.  By right, a date of birth doesn’t even need to be on a CV, let alone brought up for discussion in an interview.  You can ask if they are over 18 if it’s the legal requirement for the job, but that’s about it. 

”What country are you from?”
Do you notice an exotic accent and feel curious about where they were born? It’s a big no-no to ask this question directly. As an employer you are allowed to ask if the candidate is legally authorised to work in the country, or if they hold a valid work permit, but that’s it.

”How often did you take sick days in your last position?”
You can ask a candidate how many days they missed in the past year if you feel it absolutely necessary, but try to steer clear of this question altogether, it can cause problems and offense in some situations.  If there is a time gap on the candidate’s CV, you can ask why. You can ask about pre-existing medical conditions when the candidate has been offered the job, but only to ensure that there are no obstacles for that person to fulfil their role in the organisation.