Illegal Interview Questions: What Not to Ask Candidates

When it comes to job interviews, there are some questions you should prepare for and others you should avoid… because they are prohibited. ( we also call them Illegal Interview questions)

Furthermore, the article L1221-6 of  Workplace law Discrimination identifies the factors that can lead to workplace discrimination. And that applies to all contracts, even internship contracts. Regardless of the fact that the rules are not always followed. As a result, it is preferable to be aware of these questions ahead of time, as recruiters do not have the authority to ask them.

Family Problems

The familial circumstances of a candidate have no bearing on his or her ability to do a job. It is one of the illegal Interview questions that you should not ask any candidate  As a result, all inquiries about one’s marital status are forbidden.

Prohibited questions include the following:

  • Are you married, divorced, or single?
  • Do you have any kids?
  • What are your children’s ages?
  • Do you live on your own?
  • Do you intend to start a family soon?


Questions pertaining to one’s health

The state of a person’s health, in theory, cannot be a barrier to employment. Whatever the state of one’s health, it is not up to a recruiter to determine whether or not a candidate is physically fit and not ask these illegal Interview questions to any candidate. It is the responsibility of the workplace physician, and it is for this reason that a medical examination is required at the start of the contract.

Interdicted question examples:

  • Are you suffering from a disease?
  • Do you have a disability?

Special mention goes to the inquiry “Are you pregnant?” which demonstrates the ability to be both healthy and family-oriented.



Questions about physical appearance

Recruitment should be based on skills and ability to hold a position, not on physical appearance. Obviously, it is impossible to hide one’s appearance during an interview, but that is not why the recruiter has the right to ask Illegal Interview questions.

Examples of forbidden questions:

  • Do you have any tattoos?
  • What is your natural hair color?
  • How much do you weigh?


Personal issues: Illegal Interview question

There has been enough discussion about work/life balance to know that the two should not be mixed. In an interview, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, origins, and even judicial history have no significance and it is considered also an Illegal Interview question.

Questions that are prohibited include the following:

  • Are you straight, bisexual, or homosexual?
  • Do you follow a certain religion?
  • How long have you been a resident of France?
  • Where did you get your accent?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison?


Questions and concerns about commitments and ideas

Your commitments, whether political, syndical, or associative, are only focused on you. Your future employer is not one of them, and if you ask you about them don’t answer, it is one of the Illegal Interview questions.

Interdicted question examples:

  • What are your thoughts on this political party?
  • For whom do you intend to vote in the upcoming elections?
  • Are you a syndiqué?
  • Are you a member of an organization?


There are a few exceptions for illegal Interview questions :

Evidently, whenever there is a rule, there are always exceptions. There is no escaping the workplace code. Recruiters have the ability to ask questions that are generally illegal Interview questions in certain scenarios specific to specific jobs. Certain professions require the presentation in this case. It’s primarily those jobs that require interaction with miners, such as those in the field of surveillance or banking. Other exceptions include physical appearance. In a creative context, employment may be contingent on physical characteristics, such as when hiring a comedian or a mannequin model.

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