The 5 Most Commonly Asked Illegal Interview Questions

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I was recently at a law association conference, speaking on the topic of best practices in hiring and interview questions. Just as the presentation concluded, and satisfied that my content had been well received, a respected attorney I’d met on several prior occasions approached me to ask a final question:

“I ask every candidate who interviews with me if they’d been hit as a child. Why can’t I ask that?”

When my state of shock subsided, I responded, “How does that relate to success on the job?” According to employment law, interview questions are unacceptable if they don’t relate to the job at hand.

He replied, “I like to see how people react to being put on the spot.”

Realizing that I, too, had just fallen victim to his “put them on the spot” game, I told the man that there are plenty of perfectly legal ways to find out whether someone can think on their feet that don’t involve stories of child abuse. I half-jokingly told him to call me when he gets served his first lawsuit, and that we’d get him set up with Hireology right away.

While this was certainly an extreme example of bad interviewing,

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