Bad Interview Questions: What Not To Ask When Hiring

Working in the mobile food industry is much like any other restaurant industry job which means there can be a lot of turnover. Whether you are new to the industry or just need to fill a recently vacated position, you need to know what cannot be asked when you are involved in the hiring process.

Bad Interview Questions

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, as well as federal and state laws, prohibit asking certain questions of a job applicant, either on the application form or during the interview.

So what are some bad interview questions that you should you stay away from? Basically, you can’t ask about anything not directly related to the job.

13 Bad Interview Questions Or Topics To Avoid

  • Age or date of birth (if interviewing a teenager, you can ask if he or she is 16 years old)
  • Sex, race, creed, color, religion or national origin
  • Disabilities of any kind
  • Date and type of military discharge
  • Marital status
  • Maiden name (for female applicants)
  • If a person is a citizen; however, you can ask if he or she has the legal right to work in the United States

Other questions you should avoid include:

  • How many children do you have? How old are they? Who will care for them while you are at work?
  • Have you ever been treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist?
  • Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism?
  • Have you ever been arrested? (You may ask if the person has been convicted if it is accompanied by a statement saying that a conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant for employment.)
  • How many days were you sick last year?
  • Have you ever filed for worker’s compensation? Have you ever been injured on the job?

We hope this list helps keep you from getting in trouble for asking bad interview questions to applicants who are interested in working for your food truck business.

RELATED: Post You Food Truck Jobs With Mobile Cuisine

Do you have any additional tips or suggestion? If so, please share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

2017-03-31T08:40:51+00:00 By |Human Resources|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.


  1. Doug Coffin Dec 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Avoid questions that are really speeches about what you want from an applicant. “This job involves a lot of interaction with customers, can you handle that?” Why would anyone ever say anything but yes to that? The idea is to find out more about the candidate. ask for specifics. “What jobs have you held that require customer service? Tell me about some of your experiences”.
    Avoid questions that are simply yes or no – find ways to draw the applicant put and have them to tell you the details of their past experiences.
    Avoid softball questions. If you sound like someone in a beauty pageant asking a contestant what they hope for in the next year, then you will a useless answer like “world peace”. If you listen to your questions you may find you are telling the people the answers you are looking for. Make a note of which questions give you the most interesting and revealing answers and use them again.

  2. Mobile Cuisine Dec 22, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Great suggestions Doug.

  3. Matt Smith Dec 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    “If a person is a citizen; however, you can ask if he or she has the legal right to work in the United States”

    Perhaps you’re forgetting about the I-9 form the employer is required to complete and maintain on file. No sense in avoiding the question at interview-time, when you’re just going to require specific docs that tell the whole story at hire-time.

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