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Are there topics I should avoid when interviewing job candidates?

If you own a business in Miami, you want to make sure that you are hiring the best people you can to make your company successful. That usually means getting a feel for who a prospective employee is as a person, as well as understanding the scope of their qualifications. However, there are certainly some topics that you should not bring up if you wish to avoid legal action.

Under the law, employers cannot discriminate against employees or applicants on several different bases. One of these is religion. As Mental Floss points out, asking about someone’s religion may seem innocent, especially if it is in connection with holidays or possible time off. However, you should never ask someone about their religious affiliations in an interview.

Another basis for discrimination is age. Many employers are reluctant to hire older workers, but discriminating against someone for being over 40 is against the law. You will be able to tell immediately with some people how old they are when you meet them but if you are unsure, you may wish to avoid asking questions that could be seen as fishing for answers. For example, asking someone about when they finished school is just a sneakier way of inquiring how old he or she is.

In addition, you may also want to say away from questions related to a candidate’s health, to the extent that they do not directly relate to his or her ability to do the job. The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to many different types of conditions and you do not want to unwittingly discriminate against someone on that basis. Finally, questions about a person’s personal life may imply that you are trying to find out his or her marital status or sexual orientation and should also be off limits. This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.

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