Interviews are vital conversations used to determine if a candidate is a good fit for a job. Employers generally have a lot of leeway in the questions they can ask to get to know the individual better, however like all good things, there is a limit as to how much you can pry. Even a question that seems harmless and is asked out of sheer curiosity could lead to an unconscious bias arising from the interviewer if he or she does not like or agree with the answer the candidate provides. But more importantly, there are particular questions that you cannot legally ask a candidate at all.
Here are some questions you cannot ask in an interview:
- How old are you?
- What is your background?
- What religion do you follow?
- Do you drink and/or do drugs?
- Have you ever been arrested?
- Are you single or married?
- Are you affiliated with the following groups or clubs?
- Who did you vote for in the last election?
- How long have you lived in the US/Canada?
Basically, avoid anything that conflicts with the Human Rights Act of Canada or relevant employment discrimination laws that solidify employment equality in the United States (Equal Pay Act, ADEA, ADA, etc). You also want to avoid questions that may lead to a bias in interviewing or a potential lawsuit.