Appendix VIII:Appropriate and Inappropriate Questions to Ask During Candidate Interviews

The following information has been gotten from the UNL Institutional Equity and Compliance Office and can apply to interviews for potential faculty and staff applicants.

Interview Do’s:

Guiding principle: Can the employer demonstrate a job-related necessity for asking the question?

  • Ask questions that are job related.
  • Only ask those questions on which you intend to base your hiring decision.
  • Ask the applicant about prior employment and how that experience will be useful in this position.
  • Ask whether the applicant has any educational background pertinent to the position.
  • Ask whether the applicant has any training or experience in the military that is related and useful to the position.
  • After providing the applicant with an accurate description of the position requirements, ask if the applicant feels they can perform duties and functions of the position. Ensure applicant is aware of physical requirements (i.e. regular lifting of 50 lbs., sitting or standing most of the workday, etc…).
Interview Don’ts
  • Don’t ask questions about or discuss race, national origin, marital status, religion, veteran’s status, etc.
  • Don’t ask females different questions than males (NOTE: Ask the same questions of all applicants, regardless of gender).
  • Don’t ask whether the applicant has been arrested (NOTE: background check is run post-offer).
  • Don’t ask the applicant about the type of military discharge, if they are a veteran.
  • Don’t ask about pregnancy and family plans; childcare needs, name of spouse, spouse’s occupation; names or ages of children.
  • Don’t ask if the applicant can read, write, or speak a foreign language, unless it is clearly necessary to perform the job.
Americans with Disabilities Act Concerns

Avoid disability-related inquiries when interviewing, such as:

  • Whether applicant has (or ever had) a disability; how applicant became disabled; or inquire about the nature or severity of a disability.
  • Questions regarding any visible injuries they may have.
  • Asking a co-worker, family member, doctor or any other person about an applicant’s disability.
  • Genetic information.
  • Prior workers' compensation history, days missed due to illness.
  • Prescription drugs or medications.
  • Avoid broad questions about applicant’s impairments that are likely to elicit information about a disability (e.g., What impairments do you have?).