3 Questions to Avoid Asking When You are Interviewing Candidates

If you’re interviewing a candidate for a position, it’s key that you keep to a set of etiquettes. This is to avoid any kind of unwanted responses and also give a good first impression of your company in the job recruitment process. The easiest way to do so is to avoid asking awkward or inappropriate questions. Here are three types of questions to avoid asking during an interview.

Place of Birth, Ethnicity or Religion

Employers should steer clear of questions regarding a candidate’s birthplace, background or religious affiliation. If an applicant has an unusual name, don’t ask about its origin, as the answer could possibly be grounds for discrimination

While it is common to ask about the ethnic background on application forms, this is for monitoring purposes only and usually anonymous, and should never be brought up in an interview.

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Marital Status, Children or Sexual Preference

Asking about someone’s children is usually acceptable, but not appropriate in an interview setting. Avoid asking a candidate if they are planning a family, are pregnant, their childcare arrangements or even their marital status. 

These are all grounds for discrimination, as some employers may believe that married employees are more stable, or single people may have more time to devote to the job. Any mention of an applicant’s sexual preference should also obviously be avoided since its a red flag and inappropriate.

Lifestyle Choices

An employer shouldn’t ask a candidate about substance usage and other lifestyle choices like diet or recreations. You can set rules for professional conduct and substance use at work, but what an employee does away from the office should have no bearing on whether they are suitable for the job.

While you can ask about criminal records on an application form, it’s generally not a good idea to bring it up at interview. Questions about political affiliations or group memberships should not be asked during interviews unless they are relevant to the role in question. 


If you’re looking to prepare for an interview, keep in mind these questions you should avoid asking. You might lose out on potential employees and risk your reputation if you’re not careful. If you’d like to attract the right candidates, click here https://www.jobstreet.com.sg/en/cms/employer/ to learn more about Jobstreet!

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