Prohibited Interview Questions

There are guidelines in each province (established by the Human Rights Commission) regarding interview questions which are prohibited by law. These laws prohibit discrimination based on disability, among other things. In some cases there are exceptions for specific service organizations. Interview questions should focus on determining whether you are a qualified candidate and can perform the essential duties of the position. Unfortunately, you may encounter interviewers who are unaware of these legal guidelines and unintentionally ask prohibited questions such as the ones listed below:

Distinguishing Unacceptable and Acceptable Questions

Examples of Prohibited Questions

  • "Do you have any disabilities or medical conditions?"
  • "How did you become disabled?"
  • "When was the last time you were hospitalized?"
  • "How often do you miss work for doctor's appointments?"
  • "How many sick days did you take last year?"
  • "Are you Canadian?"
  • "Where is your accent from?"
  • "Are you planning on starting a family?"

EXAMPLES OF PERMISSIBLE QUESTIONS

  • "Are you eligible to work in Canada?".
  • "Can you start at 7:30am and work overtime if necessary?"
  • "Would you be willing to relocate if needed?"
  • "Can you perform the essential functions of the job?"
  • "How would you perform this job task?"
  • "Can you fulfill the physical requirements of the position?"
  • "Are you able to work full-time hours?"

Note: In the context where you have already disclosed your disability, employers may ask what accommodations you will require; and you may be required to have a medical exam after an employer offers a conditional offer of employment.

Additional Information

Remember: if you need accommodations, you will have to disclose your disability to your employer.