Appendix C - Questions to Avoid - Don’t Risk It!

Avoid questions that could be interpreted by any applicant to be an attempt to discover any of the following protected personal information.

Here are some sample questions to AVOID.

What year did you graduate from high school/college?

How old are you? What’s your date of birth?

Questions that would tend to identify persons who are 40 and older ("Do you remember being at work before e-mail was introduced?")

Have you ever been arrested? (An arrest is different than a conviction.)

Any questions related to complexion or color of skin.

Do you own your home?

Have your wages ever been garnished?

Have you ever declared bankruptcy?

Do you have any (job) disabilities?

Why do you use that cane?

Have you ever been addicted to illegal drugs or treated for drug or alcohol abuse?

Have you ever been hospitalized/treated for physical or mental health conditions?

That’s a nasty scar. Is there an interesting story behind that?

Are you married?

What kind of work does your husband/wife do?

Your résumé/CV indicates you have a degree from a university in Germany. Are you German?

You have a slight accent in your voice. Where are you from?

What is your national origin?

Where were you born?

Are you a U.S. citizen?

Are you a native-born American or a naturalized American citizen?

Is Spanish your first language?

Where are your parents from?

What is your maiden name?

How did you learn to read/write/speak Mandarin?

What is your father's surname?

Is your name Polish?

Do you have children? How old are they?

Do you have pre-school age children at home?

Who is going to baby-sit your children while you’re at work?

Are you planning to become pregnant?

Are you planning to have children?

Do you identify as Hispanic or as Asian?

What’s your religion?

Are you Catholic/Christian/Mormon/Jewish/Muslim/Buddhist/etc.?

What church do you attend?

Are you willing to work on Good Friday/Rosh Hashanah?

Will you require any days off for religious holidays that the University does not observe?

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

What is your maiden/birth name?

Do you have a same sex partner or married spouse?

Have you ever been a man? (to a person who appears to be a woman)

Have you ever been a woman? (to a person who appears to be a man)

Have you ever been a different gender?

Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?

What type of discharge did you receive when you left the military?

Do you receive veteran’s disability payments?

Do you receive a military pension?

How much do you weigh?

Do you have anorexia?

Have you ever tried to put on/take off some weight?

What do you earn in your current job?

Are you expecting a salary bump if you are offered this position?

Historically, white men have made higher salaries than women and many non-white men. Asking about previous salary perpetuates these pay inequities, and therefore such questions are being banned in increasing numbers of states and cities. Confine your questions to salary expectations regarding the position for which the individual is interviewing.