Media Contact: Ann E. Zaslow-Rethaber
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Recruiting Firm shares not-so-obvious questions to avoid while interviewing a job applicant

“Asking a job applicant an innocent-sounding yet illegal question is a lawsuit waiting to happen,” states Ann E. Zaslow-Rethaber of International Search Consultants (ISC), a leading executive search firm in Arizona that specializes in the sales and marketing industry. An interview question such as asking a person’s age may seem obvious to avoid but Zaslow-Rethaber points out that there are many other personal questions that can get an employer into legal trouble according to the Civil Rights Violations Act of 1964 or the Disability Act of 1961.

Listed below are the top five question topics ISC advises interviewers to avoid asking during the interview process:

Immediate Family Information – Interviewers need to tread carefully when asking questions of a personal nature. Some interviewers might feel it makes applicants more relaxed to talk about something personal – such as how many children they have, if they are married or not or the occupation of their spouse, but all are unacceptable questions to ask. It is also illegal to ask an applicant if they own a home (and how long they have lived there), what arrangements they have made for childcare if they are a parent or if they plan to have a child or more children in their future.

Extended Family Information – An interviewer cannot ask an applicant the native language of his or her parents, the nationality of the applicant’s parents, where they reside or any questions regarding lineage. Asking for an applicant’s birthplace is also unacceptable.

Military – With the Iraq war going on, an interviewer may want to acknowledge someone whose past includes serving in the war. However, it is illegal to ask what an applicant was doing during the years of World War I and II and during the time of the Vietnam War. You also cannot ask an applicant if they served in a war outside the United States.

Religion- Out of respect for an applicant’s religious beliefs, an interviewer might ask what religious holidays the applicant observes during the year not knowing that this is illegal to ask too. You also cannot ask for a reference from an applicant’s pastor or religious leader or if they are a member of a church or other religious congregation.

Health – during an interview, employers cannot ask how many sick days an applicant took the previous year, if that person has any physical disabilities or if he or she has sought therapy. Moreover, the state of the applicant’s financial health is also a taboo subject and it is illegal to ask the number of an applicant’s credit rating score or if he/she has ever declared bankruptcy.

For more information on other questions to avoid while interviewing a job applicant, please check out ISC’s website at If you are in need of an executive recruiter, ISC is prepared to deliver highly qualified candidates to meet the staffing requirements of any company size. To find out more about ISC and the five-star service they deliver, please call them at (888) 866-7276.

Author's Bio: 

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global recruiting firm launched in 1999. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, working with companies both in the US and on an international basis. With a team of 15 talented recruiters and utilizing the very best high tech tools available, ISC can easily handle multiple searches that can produce highly qualified candidates in a short amount of time for companies with high volume recruiting needs. For more information, check out ISC’s website at or call 888/866-7276.