Deanna Hartley | April 9, 2015
Chances are you've encountered unusual — even eccentric — job interview questions in your lifetime, but have you ever been asked an illegal interview question? If you're scratching your head because you aren't sure, you're not alone. A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,100 hiring and HR managers across the U.S. shows that the boundaries aren't clear when it comes to what's OK to ask versus questions that are off limits from a legal perspective.
According to Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder:
"It's important for both interviewer and interviewee to understand what employers do and don't have a legal right to ask in a job interview — for both parties' protection. Though their intentions may be harmless, hiring managers could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk for legal action, as a job candidate could argue that certain questions were used to discriminate against him or her."
To ask or not to ask
Even something as simple as "How old are you?" or "What is your political affiliation?" could land an employer in hot water.
Questions like these are also off-limits:
Interestingly, it's perfectly legal for an employer to ask you what superpower you would like to have or if you believe in life on other planets.
Here are a few other questions that may catch you off-guard but are nonetheless acceptable: