To ask or not to ask

Interview: Prohibited Questions

There are some questions that an employer is not allowed to ask an applicant. But as always in life, there are of course exceptions to the rule for such “forbidden questions”.

pregnancy
This question is generally inadmissible, as an applicant must not be disadvantaged compared to an applicant.

Desire for children in women
This question is discriminatory and therefore inadmissible. You are also not allowed to ask about the number of children or marriage plans you want.

Religious affiliation, political orientation
The question of party, religion or trade union membership is inadmissible. At most, the employee applies to a so-called trend employer, such as a church, party or trade union. Then the question is allowed.

Criminal record
If it is relevant to the workplace, this question may be asked. For example when it comes to the position of a cashier and the applicant has a criminal record for property offenses. Otherwise the question is inadmissible. If previous convictions have been deleted from the register, the applicant may answer the question about previous convictions in the negative.

Criminal record certificate
An employer may not generally ask for a certificate of good conduct, because it may contain more information than the employer is entitled to learn from a legitimate interest. But there is no rule without exception: the public service or security services, for example, may demand police clearance certificates from the applicant.

financial situation
If it is a job that creates a special relationship of trust, the question may be asked. For example, if the applicant had assets on the spot. In all other cases the question is inadmissible.

Diseases
The question may only be asked if it is relevant to the employment relationship. An example would be an infectious disease among medical or nursing staff. The question of previous - cured - illnesses is generally inadmissible.

Partnership, family relationships
Questions about the partner or his activity are not permitted. The same applies to the professions of siblings or parents.

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(Michael Vogel / Image: Light Impression, Fotolia.com)