Illegal Interview Questions

by Lacey West

The hiring process can be stressful, and you may not realize that some of the questions you routinely ask potential employees are not allowed to be asked. Here are some specific types of questions you should avoid asking to reduce the chance of making candidates uncomfortable:

Age – You can ask if an individual is over the age of 18, but you cannot ask for their specific age or birth date. Marital Status – You can ask if the individual is able to relocate if needed, or work overtime/shifts on short notice, but you cannot ask if they are married/common law, how many children they have/what their child care arrangements are, etc. Disabilities – You can ask if the individual is able to perform all job-related tasks, if they are clearly described, but you cannot ask about any specific disabilities, illnesses, medical history, etc. Personal – You can ask if the individual can lift/carry a certain amount of weight, but you cannot ask what their height and weight are. Nationality/Citizenship – You can ask if the individual is legally authorized to work in Canada, but you cannot ask about their country of origin or citizenship. Criminal Record – You can ask an individual about a specific crime if it relates specifically to the job, but you cannot ask if they have ever been arrested. Affiliations –You can ask the individual to list any groups/organizations they belong to that may be relevant to the position, but you cannot ask what social clubs they belong to or what political parties they follow.

Race/Religion – You cannot ask any questions about religion or race, including what their eye, hair or skin colour is. The only exception would be if the job entails working on certain days of the week (eg. Saturday & Sunday), if this would be a problem for the individual.

Gender – You cannot ask if an individual is male or female, or for the names/relationships of anyone they are living with.

About the Author
Lacey West
Lacey has been working with child care centres to find qualified staff for over 2 years. She understands that Early Childhood Learning is an essential foundation for children and she is a mother of 2 young children herself. Her passion to support educators and childcare centres is obvious in her customer service and account management role.