Revealed: questions the interviewer should NEVER ask

Conducting an effective interview is difficult enough.  You need to clear your diary, read the CV, prepare some questions, and read some of our blogs, here and here.

But there’s a more fundamental point to consider.

If you’re interviewing someone in the UK you need to be very careful not to discriminate – consciously or not.  You could get yourself in serious trouble if you do.

The interview questions to avoid

In particular, you must avoid asking the following questions (or variations of):

  1. Are you married, single, divorced?
  2. Do you have any children?
  3. Do you plan to have children?
  4. What year were you born?
  5. Do you speak English as your first language?
  6. In your last role, how many sick days did you take?
  7. Do you have any criminal convictions?
  8. What religion are you?
  9. What is your sexual orientation?
  10. Are you a member of a trade union?

There are some exceptions to the above (if required for the job; e.g. you need to recruit over 18s in order to sell alcohol) but the main principle is simple.  Just focus on the person’s behavioural characteristics, the skills that they have, and their potential to learn.

Everything else is irrelevant; if you consider it otherwise, you are to some extent discriminating against them.

If you need help with your interview technique, or if you’d like us to conduct interviews on your behalf, then get in touch.

You can read more information about how to conduct interviews here.

And here is a good external article about the questions that you ARE able to ask.