There is nothing worse than going on a job interview. It’s difficult to try, in 20 minutes or less, to convince a stranger that you are capable, able to learn and won’t want the interviewer’s job a year down the road. And, of course, you are expected to do all of that, in a non-arrogant way, while not being too timid.

There is nothing worse than being the interviewee, except, of course, being the interviewer.

As an interviewer, one is put in a very precarious position. How do you gauge in, 20 minutes or less, if the person sitting in front of you is trustworthy, punctual and serious about the position being offered? A resume can offer some guidance regarding experience and work history, but that doesn’t tell the entire story of the person. As someone looking to hire, you’ll have some questions.

We all know that inquiries about race, sexual orientation and religion are off the table. Frankly, none of these have anything to do with the applicant’s ability to do the job. However, here are 3 simple things that you might want to ask a job applicant that are actually illegal:

1) Questions about transportation. According to, it is illegal to ask an applicant if they have a car. While you can ask if the person can get to work on time on a regular basis, you can’t ask if they have reliable transportation. Why? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the question may be “discriminatory [as] the EEOC considers car ownership financial information.” If you didn’t know, you are not allowed to ask about an applicant’s financial situation.

2) Questions about children/childcare. No, you can’t ask if someone has children. However, if someone offers information about having children, you also can’t ask if they have stable childcare. The EEOC tells us that “such questions may be seen as evidence of intent to discriminate against…women with children.”

3) Questions about arrests. cites the EEOC’s stance on questions having to do with arrests/prison: unless the employer can show that the conviction is in some way related to the position being applied for, the question is unlawful. Again, this has to do with curtailing discriminatory practices.

Finding the right candidate is difficult. Having to walk through a minefield of potential lawsuits is even more so. Stick to questions about experience and capabilities and you’ll be okay.

Part of the Bourke Accounting experience is being interviewed by one of our associates. It’s painless and really sort of fun (Bourke Accounting associates are very charming). They won’t ask you how you got to our offices. They don’t care if you took the TARC bus or if you came by Tesla. They will ask about children and child costs. Our Bourke Accounting experts will also ask about your financial situation. But don’t worry! They will ask in the gentlest of ways and only because they care.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at See you soon!

Written Sue H.