Professional woman nervous after being asked illegal interview questions

Did you know that there are interview questions out there that might SEEM legitimate but are actually illegal? While there are some that are clearly inappropriate, not all of them are so obvious. Don't overlook the different types of illegal interview questions!


Here are a few types of illegal interview questions you should watch out for during your next job interview.

Types of Illegal Interview Questions

Interview questions about your family life:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have any kids?
  • Are you pregnant?

Interview questions about race:

  • What's your nationality?
  • What race are you?
Interview questions about religion:
  • What church do you attend?
  • What is your religion?
  • Are you religious?
Interview questions about your living situation:
  • Do you own a home?
  • Do you rent?
  • Do you have an apartment?
  • Do you have anybody living with you?
  • Do you live with your parents?
Interview questions about your gender:
  • Are you male or female?
Interview questions about your age:
  • How old are you?
  • What's your birth year?
  • When's your birthday?
  • What year did you graduate from high school?
  • What year did you graduate from college?

Why These Interview Questions Are Illegal

So, what makes these questions illegal?

First, they have no relation to the job requirements.

Second, there are strict laws in place that prevent interviewers from asking interview questions that can be discriminatory.

Why Interviewers Ask Illegal Interview Questions

Unfortunately, there are bad interviewers out there who will try to slip some of these questions in on purpose (hello, workplace discrimination). There are also some inexperienced interviewers out there who simply don't know these are illegal questions and are just trying to make conversation.

If you're asked these questions, whether intentional or not, it's best to be prepared so you don't get flustered during the interview.

How To Prepare For Illegal Interview Questions

Sadly, these types of illegal interview questions are asked all of the time during interviews. Not sure how to prepare for them? We built an in-depth interview prep course that will help you understand how to respond to such questions.

It's just one of the things you get when you join Work It Daily's career growth club. We want to help you overcome all of your job search roadblocks and finally achieve career success.

If you're serious about achieving your career goals, then you've come to the right place. Check out our career growth club today!

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Teacher lectures students in a classroom

My grandparents owned a two-story walkup in Brooklyn, New York. When I was a child, my cousins and I would take turns asking each other questions, Trivial Pursuit style. If we got the question correct, we moved up one step on the staircase. If we got the question wrong, we moved down one step. The winner was the person who reached the top landing first. While we each enjoyed serving as the “master of ceremonies on 69th Street,” peppering each other with rapid-fire questions, I enjoyed the role of maestro the most of all my cousins. I suppose I was destined to be an educator.

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