Most job seekers have no idea what some illegal interview questions sound like. Here is a list of 13 questions that a job interviewer should not be asking you. Remember the purpose of an interview is to get the job. So it is important that you understand how to answer even inappropriate interview questions.

Sample Legal and Illegal Interview Questions:


1. Age Inappropriate:

• How old are you?

• What year were you born?

• When did you graduate from high school?


• Before hiring, asking if you are over the minimum age for the hours or working conditions.

• After hiring, verifying same with a birth certificate or other ID, and asking age on insurance forms.



• Are you a citizen of the US?

• Are your parents or spouse citizens of the US?

• On what dates did you , your parents or your spouse acquire US Citizenship?

• Are you, your parents or your spouse naturalized or native-born US citizens?


• If you are not a US citizen, do you have the legal right to remain permanently in the US?

• What is your visa status (if no to the previous question).

• Are you able to provide proof of employment eligibility upon hire?

3.Criminal Record


• Have you ever been arrested?

• Have you ever spent a night in jail?


• Have you ever been convicted of a crime?



• Do you have any disabilities?

• What’s your medical history?

• How does your condition affect your abilities?


• Can you perform the specific duties of the job.

• After hiring, ask about medical history on insurance forms.



• Questions concerning spouse, or spouse’s employment, salary, arrangements, or dependents.

• What kind of child care arrangements have you made?

• How will your spouse feel about the amount of time you will be traveling if you get this job?


• Can you work overtime?

• Is there any reason you can’t start at 7:30am?

• Whether an applicant can meet specified work schedules or has activities or commitments that may prevent him or her from meeting attendance requirements.

6.Marital Status


• Are you married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc?

• Is this your maiden or married name? • What is the name of your relative/spouse/children?

• Do you live with your parents?


• After hiring, marital status on tax and insurance forms.



• What type or condition is your military discharge?

• Can you supply your discharge papers?

• What is your experience in other than US armed forces?


• Describe the relevant work experience as it relates to this position that you acquired from a US armed forces.

8.National Origin


• What is your nationality?

• Where were you born?

• Where are your parents from?

• What’s your heritage?

• What is your mother tongue?

• How did you acquire the ability to speak, read or write a foreign language?

• How did you acquire familiarity with a foreign country?

• What language is spoken in your home?


• Verifying legal U.S. residence or work visa status.

• What languages do you speak, read or write fluently?

9.Parental Status


• How many kids do you have?

• Do you plan to have children?

• How old are your children?

• Are you pregnant?


• After hiring, asking for dependent information on tax and insurance forms.

10.Race or Skin Color


• What race are you?

• Are you a member of a minority group?


• None

11.Religion or Creed


• What is your religious affiliation?

• Which religious holidays will you be taking off from work?

• Do you attend church regularly?


• Can you work on Saturdays?



• Do you own or rent your home?

• Do you live in town?

• With whom do you live?


• Inquiries about the address to facilitate contact with the applicant.

• Will you be able to start work at 8:00am?



• Do you wish to be addressed as Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?

• What are your plans to have children in the future?



Need further help dealing with illegal interview questions?

Recognising illegal interview questions allows you to prepare appropriate answers. Remember, interview skills can be improved. There are some excellent interview skills courses that you can access which will give you the opportunity to ask in-depth questions, learn and gain a deeper understanding of the whole recruitment process. Alternatively you may be able to find interview skills workshops that address current issues in your area.If  you have any  interview tips, a topic you wish to raise or questions you would like answered, you can post them in our forums or by using our comments form below.  All comments will be reviewed and then posted as soon as possible.

Another option is using the services of an NLP Practitionercareer coach, a life coach or a performance coach.

You can find difficult interview questions ,  popular interview questions and interview questions you may be asked here at The Personal Development Cafe.

If you would like to share any interview tips you think others could benefit from (for example an interview question you found difficult, funny or puzzling),  a topic you wish to raise or questions you would like answered, you can post them by using our comments form below.  All comments will be reviewed and then posted as soon as possible.