Here are some of the do’s and don’ts you should know about.
Do ask: Are you of legal age to serve alcohol? Don’t ask: “How old are you?” According to the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), you cannot ask how old the applicant is unless a certain age (such as being 18 or 21) is specifically required for the duties of the job.
Do ask: “Are you authorized to work in the United States?” Don’t ask: “Are you a legal U.S. citizen?” According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), you can’t ask the illegal immigrant question in the interview, but after you hire the person you can have them fill out an employment eligibility verification (I-9) document.
Do ask: “Will working overtime or traveling be a problem?” Don’t ask: “Are you married? Any kids?” Also, do not ask if the person is pregnant or planning to have children.
Do ask: “Are you able to perform the duties required by the job?” Don’t ask: “Do you have any mental or physical disabilities?” Under the American With Disabilities Act, you cannot reject any job applicant because of mental or physical disabilities. Also, you can’t ask anything about the person’s health or possible addictions. You can let them know the job requires periodic drug testing.
Do ask: “Are you able to work all required days and hours of the job?” Don’t ask: “Are there any religious holidays or hours that would limit you from performing your required hours?” In fact, never mention religion at all in an interview. Religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment and off limits in the interview process.
Don’t ask: Anything to do with race at all. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any discrimination based on race, color or national origin. If you’re asking for affirmative action reasons, you can ask the candidate to volunteer that information on the application.
To get more help with how to find your perfect hire, make an appointment with a SCORE mentor to get one-on-one advice.