Finding quality candidates to fill needed company roles can be a strenuous task within itself. Not only can it be time consuming, but mentally draining, as well. Before scheduling the first interview, business leaders must remember to abide by the United States’ strict regulations regarding criteria that can be utilized when hiring a new team member. Be aware: there are questions surrounding specific topics that are off-limits to organizations to avoid accusations of passing over a candidate for illegal, discriminatory reasons.

StaffScapes, considered one of the top-ranked HR companies in Denver, helps businesses in the Metro-North area and throughout Colorado navigate the complex landscape of human resource compliance, policies, and best practices. Avoiding a discriminatory lawsuit is a critical piece for a proactive and smooth flowing interview process.

Interview conductors should familiarize themselves with The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) to know what subjects to steer clear of during an interview. The EEOA states that unlawful interview questions revolve the following topics: age, color, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, birthplace, country of origin, family status, disability, marital status, pregnancy, and, in some states, salary history.

HR professionals at StaffScapes strongly recommend that companies stay away from the above topics as well as the following questions, which you should never ask when administering an interview:

Question #1: Do you have any disabilities?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protected any potential employee who is going through interviews with a disability. If the individual has an apparent disorder or reveals one to you, the only question you are allowed to ask regarding the matter is what the company can provide to accommodate his or her needs.

Question #2: Do you have a United States citizenship?

Due to the responsibility to hire a worthy candidate for better chances of organizational success, you might feel the need to make sure that the person you are interviewing is legally eligible to have a job in the United States. And you have the right to do that in a yes or no question form, but only that. Stay far back from asking about specific immigration status, or even heritage.

Question #3: Are you planning to have a family?

As stated above, asking about family status is a no-no. A hiring decision should not be influenced by whether or not someone has children, is planning to have children, is married, or is single. Consider all family matters out of bounds.

Question #4: When did you first start working?

This question might seem harmless but is has age discrimination written all over it.

Question #5: What church do you attend?

When asking interview questions, be wary of off-topic or side conversations that can easily allow for socially, but not professionally, acceptable lingo. You might unintentionally ask this question out of genuine curiosity or small talk, but it still undoubtedly girdles the topic of religion.

About StaffScapes:

StaffScapes is a professional employment organization (PEO) serving small to mid-sized companies in the Denver area and across Colorado since 1996. With over 20 years of experience, you can trust that by turning over your organization’s HR responsibilities to StaffScapes, you will relieve your company of unwanted stress and responsibilities. Contact us to set up a consultation or for more information on how StaffScapes can help your business.