Conduct a Legal Interview without Discriminating

Conduct a Legal Interview

Interviewing as a hirer can sometimes be just as daunting as it is for the candidate – for both parties, preparation is required because both can easily say the wrong thing. Candidates can stumble or choke on their words, but hirers can break the law by asking illegal questions that may discriminate the potential candidate. Any direct questions pertaining to age, sexuality, race, disability, and marital/parental status should be avoided at all costs. It is illegal to discriminate a candidate based on these factors so if you really need the answers, seek or ask wisely….or else legal action may be taken against you.

Below are the questions you should not ask…with solutions on how to find out the answers.


How old are you? This question is considered rude in most cultures, even when asking a friend. It is worse when asking it on an interview, unless of course there is a required age for the role. As part of your preparation, check the dates on their CV and you should be able to estimate how old the candidate is.


Have you had any past illnesses or injuries? What you really need to know is if they can handle all responsibilities that the job requires so rephrasing this question is simple. Is there any reason you may not be able to complete any of the job duties? This question is not just simple, it is polite.

Parental Status

How can you work while looking after your children? If you are a parent yourself, you should know that parents do what they have to do to get by. If someone really wants a job, they are going to make it work and you need to be able to trust them. You can always just confirm that they are able to commit to the job hours….without the mention of their outside life.

As mentioned, preparation is key. Before an interview make sure to truly understand what you need and who you are looking for. And of course it pays to have all of your questions ready for the candidates.