List of Unacceptable Job Interview Questions

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Unacceptable Job Interview Questions

Discriminatory or unacceptable job interview questions are those that inquire about personal, sensitive, or legally protected information that is unrelated to a candidate’s qualifications or ability to perform the job. Such questions can lead to discrimination based on factors like age, gender, race, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. These questions violate anti-discrimination laws and can result in legal consequences, making them inappropriate and off-limits in the hiring process to ensure fairness and compliance. Thus, it is advised that employers must not breach the moral code of conduct by asking discriminatory interview questions while onboarding new employees. They must, therefore, only stick to acceptable job interview questions.

Also Read: Top 100 Interview Questions and Answers

Topics Unacceptable for Job Interview Questions

During a job interview, there are several topics that should not be discussed due to legal and ethical considerations. Interviewers should always focus on job-related questions and assess candidates based on their qualifications, skills, and experience. Asking inappropriate questions can lead to legal issues and damage your organization’s reputation.


It is illegal to ask a candidate’s age or date of birth, as it can lead to age discrimination.

Marital or Family Status

Questions about marital status, children, or family planning are inappropriate and can be considered discriminatory.


Inquiries about a candidate’s religious beliefs or practices are not relevant to their qualifications for the job and may constitute religious discrimination.

National Origin or Ethnicity

Asking about a candidate’s ethnicity, place of birth, or nationality can be considered discriminatory.

Disability or Health

Questions about a candidate’s health, disabilities, or medical history should not be asked, except to determine if they can perform essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations.

Also Read: How Creative Thinking Can Help You In Interviews?

Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

It is inappropriate to inquire about a candidate’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as it can lead to discrimination.


Questions related to pregnancy, family planning, or a candidate’s intentions regarding starting a family are off-limits.

Financial Status

You should not ask about a candidate’s financial situation, including credit history or debt.

Criminal Record

While you can ask about a candidate’s criminal record if relevant to the job, you must do so carefully and in compliance with applicable laws.

Military Service

Questions about a candidate’s military service that are not relevant to the job should be avoided.

Political Affiliation

It is inappropriate to inquire about a candidate’s political beliefs or affiliations.

Social Media Passwords

You should not ask for a candidate’s social media passwords or access to their personal accounts.

Also Read: Handle Tough Interview Questions With Ease

Unacceptable Job Interview Questions

Unacceptable questions can be discriminatory and are often illegal in many jurisdictions due to their potential for bias. Always focus on questions related to the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and ability to perform the job effectively. These questions touch on personal, sensitive, or legally protected information and should be avoided in a job interview to ensure fairness and compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Therefore, interviewers must only focus on evaluating candidates based on their skills, qualifications, and ability to perform the job effectively.

List of Unacceptable Job Interview Questions

Here are some examples of prohibited job interview questions:

  • How old are you?
  • Are you married or planning to have children?
  • What is your political affiliation?
  • Do you have any disabilities or health conditions?
  • What is your sexual orientation?
  • Are you pregnant or planning to start a family soon?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • What is your race or ethnicity?
  • How do you feel about working for a younger/senior manager?
  • What is your current salary or salary history?
  • Are you comfortable working with people of different races or backgrounds?
  • Do you plan to have more children?
  • Do you have any mental health issues?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Have you ever filed a colleague’s compensation claim?

Also Read: 10+ Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions

Acceptable Job Interview Questions

These questions are those that focus on examining the skills, qualifications, abilities, and experiences of job applicants. Here are acceptable job interview questions:

  • Can you tell me about your relevant work experience?
  • What skills or qualifications make you a strong fit for this role?
  • How do you handle challenging situations or conflicts in the workplace?
  • What interests you about our company and this position?
  • Can you provide an example of a project where you demonstrated leadership skills?
  • How do you stay updated with industry trends and advancements?
  • What is your approach to working in a team?
  • What are your long-term career goals and how do they align with this role?
  • Can you describe a situation where you successfully solved a complex problem?
  • Are you able to meet the job’s specific requirements and work schedule?

Also Read: 25+ Behavioural Interview Questions & Answers


Q.1. How do you answer unacceptable job interview questions?

Ans: When you face discriminatory or inappropriate interview questions, you must politely redirect the conversation to job-related topics and provide relevant answers to acceptable questions. You must always be aware of your rights to ensure a fair and professional interview process. 

Q.2. What to do if an interviewer asks inappropriate questions?

Ans: If you feel discriminated against in a job interview, you have the right to express your discomfort and quit the interview.

Q.3. What are examples of inappropriate interview questions?

Ans: Here are some examples of questions that should not be asked in a job interview:
– What is your political affiliation?
-Do you have any disabilities or health conditions?
-What is your sexual orientation?
-Are you pregnant or planning to start a family soon?

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