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Guidelines for Pre-Employment Interview

Help WantedRecently I got a hold of a 2006 AAEE Job Search Handbook from a friend of mine. Thumbing through it I thought this information would be helpful to businesses as they perform interviews.

Guidelines for Pre-Employment Interview


Acceptable: “To enable us to check on your work and education record, is any additional information necessary relative to change of name, use of an assumed name or a nick name? If yes, Please explain.”

Unacceptable: Maiden Name.


Acceptable: Place of residence

Unacceptable: “Do you own or rent your home?”


Acceptable: Statement that hiring is subject to verification that applicant meets legal age requirements.
“If hired can you show proof of age?”
“Are you over eighteen years of age?”
“If under eighteen, can you, after employment, submit a work permit?”

Unacceptable: Age.
Birth date.
Date of attendance or completion of elementary or high school.
Questions which tend to identify applicants over age 40.

Birthplace, Citizenship

Acceptable: “Can you, after employment, submit verification of your legal right to work in United States?” Or, statement that such proof may be required after employment.

Unacceptable: Birthplace of applicant’s parents, spouse, or other relatives.
“Are you a U.S. citizen?” Or, citizenship of applicant, applicant’s parents, spouse, or other relatives.
Requirements that applicants first produce naturalization papers, or alien card prior to employment.

National Origin

Acceptable: “This position requires multi-lingual skills. What languages do you read, speak, or write?”

Unacceptable: Questions as to nationality, lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, or parentage of applicant, applicant’s parents, or spouse.
“What is your mother’s tongue?” Or, “Language commonly used by applicant.”
How applicant acquired ability to read, write, or speak a foreign language.

Sex, Marital Status, Family

Acceptable: Name and address of parent of guardian if applicant is a minor.
Statement of policy regarding working assignment of employees who are related.

Unacceptable: Questions which indicate applicant’s sex.
Questions which indicate applicant’s martial status.
Number and/or ages of children or dependents.
Provisions for child care.
Questions regarding pregnancy, child bearing, or birth control.
Name or address of relative. Spouse, or children of adult applicant.
“With whom do you reside?” Or, “Do you live with your parents?”

Race, Color

Unacceptable: Questions as to applicant’s race or color.
Questions regarding applicant’s complexion or color of skin, eyes, hair.

Physical, Description, Photograph

Acceptable: Statement that photograph may be requires after employment.

Unacceptable: Questions as to applicant’s height and weight.
Require applicant to affix a photograph to application.
Request applicant, at his or her option, to submit a photograph.
Require a photograph after interview but before employment.

Physical Condition, Handicap

Acceptable: Statement by employer that offer may be made contingent on applicant passing a job-related physical examination.

Unacceptable: Questions regarding applicant’s general medical condition, state of health.
Questions regarding receipt of worker’ compensation.
“Do you have any physical disabilities or handicaps?”


Acceptable: Statement by employer of regular days, hours, or shifts to be worked.

Unacceptable: Questions regarding applicant it’s religion.
Religious days observed or “Does your religion prevent you from working weekends or holidays?”

Arrest, Criminal Record

Acceptable: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony, (specified time period) or a misdemeanor which resulted in imprisonment?” (Such a question must be accompanied by a statement that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify applicant from the job applied for).

Unacceptable: Arrest record. Or, “Have you ever been arrested?”


Acceptable: Statement that bonding is a condition of hire.

Unacceptable: Question regarding refusal or cancellation of bonding.

Military Service

Acceptable: Questions regarding relevant skills acquired during applicant’s U.S. military service.

Unacceptable: General questions regarding military services such as dates and type of discharge.
Questions regarding service in a foreign military.

Economic Status

Unacceptable: Questions regarding applicant’s current or past assets, liabilities, or credit rating, including bankruptcy or garnishment.

Organizations, Activities

Acceptable: “Please list job-related organization, clubs, professional societies, or other associations to which you belong – you may omit those which indicate your race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or age.

Unacceptable: “List all organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges to which you belong.”


Acceptable: “By whom were you referred for a position here?”
Names of persons willing to provided professional and/or character references for applicant.

Unacceptable: Detailed questions about applicant’s former employers, or questions which elicit information specifying the applicant’s race, color, names, creed, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, age, or sex.

Emergency Notification

Acceptable: A request for the name and address of a person to be notified in an emergency is proper after you have been hired.

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