Interviews can turn out to be a variety of things; from a formal and proper question-and-answer session, to a casual meeting over coffee or lunch.
In fact, some of the best interviews with Human Resources, hiring managers or employers will change pace over the course of the meeting; going from a traditional give and take to a relaxed conversation, taken at a comfortable pace.
Of course, not every interview turns into a bonding session, but many will change tone at one time or another, sometimes wavering back and forth from formal to relaxed.
This desire to learn everything about a potential employee is undeniably a worthy goal, but shifting gears to something more relaxed can prove to be dangerous to the employer. Yes, you truly want to know skills, as well as past accomplishments and successes.
What you don’t need to know are things like race, religion, disability or marital status. The problem arises when, in the moment and particularly if a candidate is close to being right for the job, the wrong question slips out.
That would land you and your business in hot water.
As a reminder of which are off-limits to ask a candidate in an interview, here are some of the biggest illegal questions. Avoid these whenever the opportunity crops up, even if you are comfortable enough with the candidate and feel the urge coming on to ask: