interview questionSo, if my last article made you nervous, then this one should offer you a bit of relief. If you have ever brought in a practice management consultant to help with your hiring process, I hope this is something they covered. Understanding what questions you shouldn't ask in an interview can be one of the most important things to know to avoid getting on the bad side of the EEOC. Remember, all it takes is one disgruntled interviewee to make a complaint and you're up to your loupes in legal troubles.

Let's go through a few illegal interview questions and what you should ask instead:

  1. Are you a US citizen? This interview question would give you information about national origin. It's better to have a question on your application that asks: Are you legally able to work in the United States? In the end, my guess is the latter is what you really wanted to know anyway.

  2. When did you graduate? I would avoid this interview question since it gives you a rough idea of their age and is better to just avoid in general. You can, and should for some positions, ask if they have a degree or certificate – but it is better to not ask when they graduated.

  3. What clubs or social organizations do you belong to? This interview question is a sneaky one. It is best to ask if they belong to any professional associations; if you ask about other organizations, you might end up with answers about their involvement in certain programs that give you details you don't want to know.

  4. That's a beautiful accent where are you from? This is a very innocent question that a lot of hiring managers ask – but it gives you information on national origin that you don't want to be accused of using to make a hiring decision.

In my next article, we will run through more interview questions you should avoid asking when hiring new employees for your dental practice.

Adam McWethy, MA-HRIR, SPHR, is the Director of Human Resources and Faculty at Spear Education.

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