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Don’t ask reference things you wouldn’t ask candidate

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Q. I know that it is illegal to ask applicants certain questions, like whether they are married. Are there any questions I cannot ask a previous employer or reference? —F.T., Maine

A. A good rule is never to ask any question that you can't ask the applicant directly. Once you know of something that you should not ask about, it will be more difficult to prove that the information played no role in your decision not to hire the individual.

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