20 Questions You Should Never Ask in a Faculty Interview

Conducting faculty interviews is just one the many, many responsibilities of busy deans, chairs, and directors. Being aware of the do's and don't's of effective and lawful interviewing is important for all of those involved in the faculty hiring process.   

A study by CareerBuilder showed that 1 in 5 hiring managers have asked an off-limits question in a job interview only to realize their mistake afterward. When interviewing it is helpful to be mindful of the types of questions you pose to the candidates. Asking an unlawful question could put your institute at risk for a discrimination lawsuit.

Use the checklist below to ensure your interview inquiries are lawful and nondiscriminatory. 

Unlawful Questions about Age

How old are you?

What is your date of birth?

How do you feel about working for someone younger/older than you?


Unlawful Questions Regarding Gender

Do you have plans for having children or a family?

Do you have children?

Do you have marriage plans?

What does your spouse do for a living?

How would you feel about working for a man/woman?


Unlawful Questions Pertaining to National Origin, Race, or Religion.

Are you of X heritage or race?

What country are you from?

Do you have any religious beliefs that would prevent you from working certain days of the week?

Do you attend church? Which one?


Unlawful Questions Regarding Disabilities, Handicaps, and Health.

Do you have any disabilities or handicaps?

Do you have any physical disabilities that would prevent you from performing a certain type of work?

Are there any health related issues that may prevent you from fulfilling your job duties?

Have you ever been treated for a mental condition?

Have you ever been treated for drug or alcohol abuse?

How many days were you absent from work due to illness last year?

Are you taking prescription medication?

Are you caring for an older family member or relative?