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Avoiding Illegal Hiring Interview Questions

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in Human Resources

When interviewing job candidates, it is essential that all questions remain on the right side of the legal line. Unfortunately, the line that separates legal from illegal inquiries is often a fine one. As a general rule, interview questions should be job-related and not used to find out personal information, such as race, age, religion, disability, etc., that could lead to accusations of a discriminatory hiring decision. Here are some examples.


Illegal: Are you a U.S. citizen?


Illegal: What is your country of citizenship?


Illegal: Where were you/your parents born?


Illegal: What is your nationality/ancestry?


Legal: Are you authorized to work in the United States?


The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status. IRCA and Title VII prohibit discrimination based on national origin. You may ask an applicant whether they are a U.S. citizen only if U.S. citizen...(register to read more)

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