The goal, of course, is to ask a few smart questions—thoughtful ones that show you’ve been paying attention and have done your homework when it comes to researching the company and the specific job you’re after. At the very least, you want to ask something.
- Age or genetic information.
- Birthplace, country of origin or citizenship.
- Gender, sex or sexual orientation.
- Marital status, family, or pregnancy.
- Race, color, or ethnicity.
5 Creative Questions to Ask While Interviewing Potential Employees | The Journey
5. “May I Arrive Early or Leave Late as Long as I Get My Hours In?”
Even if you make it clear that you’re hoping for a flexible schedule to accommodate a legitimate concern such as picking up your kids from daycare, Barrett-Poindexter advises against this question. “While work-life balance is a very popular concern right now, it’s not the most pressing consideration for a hiring decision-maker,” she says. “Insinuating early on that you’re concerned about balancing your life may indicate to your employer that you are more concerned about your needs and less concerned about the company’s.”
8. How Soon Do You Promote Employees?
“An individual asking this question may come off as arrogant and entitled,” says recruiter Josh Tolan of SparkHire.com.
2. How Have You Recognized Your Employees in the Past?
This is another example of a smart question that digs for specifics. “You want to be sure that your new company appreciates its employees,” says Kohut, and that the company values morale.
10. Will You Monitor My Social Networking Profiles?
While a valid concern in today’s culture, this is something best left unsaid. “It gives the impression you have something to hide,” says Tolan. Play it safe and don’t post anything (especially disparaging things) about your company, co-workers, or employers on Facebook, Twitter—or anywhere on the internet, really.
And yes, even if you’re not “friends” with anyone at work. These kinds of things have a way of getting around.
9. Do I Get My Own Office?
This is an uncomfortable one, says Tolan. Of course you may wonder about it, but will something like this really play into whether you accept a career opportunity or not? If so, he says, it may be time to rethink your priorities.
Are there exceptions to illegal interview questions?
According to the EEOC, exceptions can be made in cases when information is needed for a “bona fide occupational qualification.” In cases where an employer is worried that a person may not be able to perform the job due to health or disabilities, it is appropriate to ask how they would perform it.
Employers are not allowed to ask job applicants how old they are, as they may lead to age discrimination.