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31 illegal interview questions

Rédigé par Agence Carrières

During a job interview, all questions asked by a recruiter must be directly related to the proposed job or to the evaluation of professional skills. These questions cannot be personal or intrusive. They could lead the recruiter not to choose a candidate, not because of his or her lack of competence but because of personal choice. This is unfair and against the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Even if these questions are asked in a trivial way to break the ice or simply to make conversation, they are illegal and prohibited.

Questions about race, sex, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, age (except as provided by law), religion, political beliefs, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition or disability are prohibited during interviews.

If a recruiter asks you a question that you feel is illegal, you have three choices:

1. You try to avoid the question.

2. Ask the recruiter if he or she can explain how the question is relevant to the position. If not, explain that you want to move on to the next question.

3. You answer the question. If you feel that your answer may cause the recruiter to discriminate against you and deny you the position, be aware that there are possible remedies that we will discuss below.

To help you detect prohibited questions, we have grouped them together in this article:

Family situation

1. Do you have children and how many?

2. Are you married?

3. Are you pregnant? 

4. Do you intend to be pregnant soon?

5. How old are your children?

6. What is your spouse’s occupation?

7. What is your maiden name?

8. How old are you?

9. Do you have any grandchildren?

Health status

10. Do you have a disability?

11. How often do you go to the doctor?

12. Are you in good health?

13. Do you have any particular health problems?

14. When was the last time you had a check-up?


15. What is your ethnic background?

16. How long have you lived in Quebec?

17. What is your mother tongue?

18. Where were you born?

19. What is the origin of your family name?

20. Where does your accent come from?

Religious beliefs

21. What is your religion?

22. Are you Christian, Muslim or Jewish?

23. Do you have any particular religious practices?

Political views

24. Who will you vote for this year?

25. Do you belong to a political party?

Sexual orientation

26. Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?

27. What is your sexual orientation?

28. What gender do you identify with?

Social Status

29. Do you own or rent property?

30. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?

31. How much did you earn at your last job?

If you were or think you were discriminated against during your job interview, we invite you to contact the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. You will be able to file a complaint free of charge.

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