Potentially Discriminatory Job Interview Questions You Don’t Have to Answer

Potentially Discriminatory Job Interview Questions You Don’t Have to Answer

Going for a job interview can often be a nerve-wracking experience, and it can be even more intimidating if your potential employer begins asking you questions that they shouldn’t. If you have recently had an interview where you believe the employer asked discriminatory questions about you, or you think your current employer might have done so when hiring you for your position, there are options available for you. But first, it’s important to understand which topics are off-limits in the interview, and know that you certainly don’t have to answer them.

Family Life

Your potential employer shouldn’t be asking you questions about your family life or making hiring decisions based on your marital status, parent status, or anything else. You should be trusted to make appropriate arrangements for childcare while working if needed; this isn’t a question that your employer should be asking you. You shouldn’t be asked any questions about pregnancy either present or future – this is classed as gender discrimination and could land the employer in trouble. If you are a pregnant person and believe that it has impacted your current or a potential job, you can get help from a gender discrimination attorney.

Sexual Orientation

Who you are attracted to in life should not have any impact on how well you do your job, and your employer doesn’t need to know if you are gay, straight, bisexual, or anything else. Asking these types of questions in the interview is completely off limits and your employer has absolutely no business knowing, so don’t feel like you have to answer.

Medical Information

Unless they are asking questions about how the office can be made more accessible for you if you have a disability, your employer doesn’t need to know about your current medical conditions or medical history. They should certainly not make any hiring decisions based on whether or not you have a medical condition or disability. An employer is only permitted to ask medical questions related to making reasonable adjustments to help you at work, and should never take the topic any further.

Race and Ethnicity

Your racial background or ethnicity shouldn’t be brought up during the interview process. As far as your employer is concerned, your cultural heritage or the color of your skin definitely should have no place in deciding whether or not to hire you for the job, so questions of this kind are strictly off-limits.


An employer shouldn’t make hiring decisions based on the age of a potential employee, and questions about age should not be asked in the interview. Not only is it rather rude to ask somebody personal questions about their age, but it could also be discriminatory if a candidate does not get the job purely because they are too old or too young in the employer’s view. More and more companies are hiring blind, which means keeping any personal information about the potential employee like their date of birth under wraps to avoid the potential for discrimination.

If you’re asked any questions about these topics in a job interview, you don’t have to answer.