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6 Illegal Nursing Interview Questions

6 Illegal Nursing Interview Questions

Hamsa Ramesha | NursingLink

ILLEGAL: “How much do you weigh?”
LEGAL: “Are you comfortable with lifting heavy objects?”

While employers may want to make sure you’re physically able to do the job, asking directly about your weight/height and general health is a major HR no-no. Not to mention potentially embarrassing for you! But rephrasing the question to ask about your ability to perform a specific task, such as lifting a heavy patient, or carrying medical supplies, is fair game.

ILLEGAL: “Do you have any disabilities? Any recent illnesses or operations?”
LEGAL: “Are you able to perform the essential job functions?”

Discriminating against the disabled, whether wheelchair-bound or clinically depressed, is a classic example of illegal hiring practices. But the employer still has a right to make sure you can do the job you’re hired for and rephrasing the question accordingly is within their rights. As a nurse, you’ll be required to be in top shape, both physically and mentally, as part of the job requirements means have the lives of others depend on you.

ILLEGAL: “Ever been arrested?”
LEGAL: “Ever been convicted of ___?”

A general question about your (criminal) past is off topic, but a more targeted question regarding questionable behavior — as it relates to health care and nursing — is okay. For example, if you were applying for a job as a magician, it’s appropriate to ask if you’ve ever been convicted of fraud in your line of work.

It’s not so much what the question is asking, but how the question is asked. Federal and state laws prevent employers from asking interviewees about subjects unrelated to the job. However, if you feel you have been asked a question that’s off-limits, you should seek legal counsel. Before you take serious action, take into consideration the nature of the job, the context of the situation, the interviewer’s intent, and of course, the phrasing of the question. Good luck, and happy interviewing nurses!

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    I am looking for a job at this time. The last time I looked for a position I was extremely overweight. I was repeatedly asked if I was capable of doing a job that I had been doing for 20 years. The fact that I was doing the same job for a per diem agency did not seem to matter. If was humiliating and hurtful. The only real offers that I got were from the facilities where I did work for the agency. For 18 months I had to prove that I could do the job.
    I went on an interview last week and saw how the questions could be put differently, especially the ones on diversity. In todays world looking at others cultures and understanding their beliefs and traditions is as important as knowing their health history. The more comfortable you can make them feel, the more comfortable and trusting they will be with the care you are providing. The relationship you build with your paitients is only something that can be forged by you.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Illegal is commonplace in nursing. After a car accident on my way home from work, I ended up with two very swollen hands and consequently a reconstructed right hand. My employer's response to a doctor putting me off work for three weeks? We don't work with people with limitations, so effectively you're fired. What a grand field this is. I'm working to push away from most forms of nursing. For a "helping" field this is anything but. Other countries are lightyears ahead of this one in what truly works. We are in a money-driven system, not a care-driven system. A walk through the ocean of most nurse managers' knowledge of management principles would scarcely get one's feet wet!

  • Seans_hs_grad2009_018_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    These are possible interview questions, but how can we have them removed from the job application completely because i feel this is used as a basis for discrimination.

  • John_milks_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great info

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I have been in this position and most of the time this would not be the ideal workplace.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I have been asked most of these questions, except for the one about race or color. Because I am very fair skinned and blonde it is obvious. I think questions about age ,marriage etc should not be asked. Experience is what affects your job performance not all that other stuff.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    All of this is well and good. However now-days the employer will have you sign for a 'back ground check.' As you complete the back ground check form you are asked ALL of these questions. The other problem is the 'ethnic diversity' question. To be considered for the job you must tell what is you ethnic status. In the interview these questions are not asked, but before the interview you must tell the answer to all of these questions.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    vey good information.

  • Avt_claudiao_claudiao_large_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This article is very helpful for me. I am looking for work.

  • Snapshot_20100727_1_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This article is very informative. I am in search of employment. The interview question that I find the most
    difficult to answer is 'What do you plan to be doing inthe next 10 years?' [I'd like to say 'Hopefully, I'll be
    working in some capacity, but I'd like to be retired'].
    I'm 63 but look 40. An interviewer should know that I'm older once I admit that I have 36 YEARS as a RN
    and have worked near exclusively in various ICU settings.
    I thank you for sharing these questions with me.

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