Ellen Singer responds:
It is not advisable to ask anything that could be interpreted as indicating a discriminatory view. Asking someone if they are pregnant or are planning on starting a family can result in a claim for sex discrimination if they do not get the job.
There are similar problems if you ask about how they manage childcare. Avoid questions asking about where someone sees themselves in 5 years time because of potential claims of age discrimination.
Dont ask about disabilities, sexual orientation, religion or race. Keep your questions related to the work and determining if someone can do the job youre advertising for.
Here are some examples of bad questions that you definitely can not ask at an interview.
• Are you planning on getting pregnant and being off for ages?
• Youve got kids, how do we know youll be reliable?
• How often have you had to take time off from your last job due to a problem with your kids?
• How will you cope with this job with your disability?
• When are you planning on retiring?
• As a Muslim, what are your views on 9/11?
• Are you able and willing to work evenings and weekends?
If you are a Peninsula client and have a vacancy to fill, call the Advice Service on 0844 892 2772 and one of our advisors will help you devise appropriate questions for the interview stage of the application process. Remember the Advice Service is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.