Interviewing perspective employees is an important part of the hiring process. In today’s world interviewing requires a balance between obtaining information and building rapport while avoiding potentially litigious questions.

Here are examples of direct questions not to ask while interviewing a candidate. Specific questions are grouped by topic and do have alternative ways of getting legitimate information.

Religion. Questions about religion should be avoided. Do not ask a candidate what religion they practice of what religious holidays they observe.

Nationality. Questions about nationality are difficult because knowing whether or not a person has the right to work is your responsibility as an employer so rather than asking, “Are you a US citizen?” or “What nationality are you?” simply ask, “Do you have the right to work in the US?”

Age. Do not ask a person their age or how long they plan to work until retirement.

Gender. Leave gender assumptions out of your questions altogether.

Family Status. Do not ask questions about marital status and whether or not the person has, or plans to have, children.

Health. Do not ask if a person smokes or drinks or takes drugs. Do not ask if they’ve had any recent illnesses or operations. Also, do not ask how many sick days taken at the last job.

Physical abilities. Do not ask if the person has any disabilities. Do not ask about weight or height.

Military Service. Do not ask if a person has an honorary discharge from the military or whether or not they are in the National Guard or the Reserves.

Residence. Do not ask a person if they live nearby or how far they would have to commute to get to work.

Arrest Record. Do not ask if a person whether or not they have been arrested.