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You might be surprised to see the presentations career counselors are giving high school students these days. In role-playing skits, presenters will demonstrate proper and improper behavior for an interview. To those in an older generation, it may seem like a “no brainer” to put your cell phone away and sit up straight in a job interview.

It seems logical that you would dress in your nicest clothes, spit out your gum and answer questions without using slang, but to a younger generation these skills may not be as obvious. Unfortunately, what some of these career coaches should be doing is reminding the interviewers of the behavior appropriate for their side of the table and they’re not!

Employment Laws and Interviews

Employment laws in the United States prevent employers from discriminating based on sex, age, nationality and many other factors. For this reason, employers and HR personnel conducting interviews must be very careful in their specific questions as well as how they word them to avoid pitfalls.

Legal Questions to Ask

There are specific things you need to know to ensure your candidate is legally able to work for you, such as age and nationality. Your position may require the person to be over 21 and legally documented. You must protect yourself by ensuring these stipulations are met, but you must ask the question in such a way that it’s clear you are not discriminating based on age or race. Examples of appropriate questions are:

  • “Are you over 21?”
  • “Are you a U.S. citizen or legally eligible to work in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act?”

Illegal Questions to Ask

In regards to the above examples of age and nationality requirements, there are definitely ways to ask those questions that are not appropriate. Word something the wrong way, and you’re in trouble. Inappropriate ways to ask the above questions would be:

  • “How old are you?”
  • “Are you from Mexico?”

Chicago Employment Law Attorneys

Contact our established Chicago employment attorneys. If you are an employer in need of quality advice and dynamic representation in an employment law dispute, call Goldman & Ehrlich at 312.332.6733 today or contact our Chicago office online.