Job Interview Questions to Avoid


I was interviewing someone for a receptionist position at a medical office and I was fascinated by their hair. In the worst way I wanted to ask how the style was accomplished. Of course, I never could for fear of violating the law. It was an innocent yet curious question, but one can never know how that interest might be interpreted.

The US Department of Labor offers strict guidelines on what can and can not be asked during a job interview. For example, it’s illegal to ask about or hire on the basis of sex, age, race or religion. It’s also forbidden to hire or not hire based on national origin, marital status, and personal life preferences not job related.

Questions on transportation to and from work are not allowed. Yet you can say, “This job requires you to go between two locations. Will this be a problem for you?” Perhaps you might say, “This position may require you to stay late. Will this be a problem for you?” By asking the question as it relates to the position, you can learn a lot about the candidate and whether they will satisfy your needs.

For a candidate to become a great hire, both the needs of the medical practice and the person must be met. Send your comments to

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