What were once standard questions on an application form or during an interview - such as age, length of experience and religious views - are now illegal under discrimination legislation, Which? warns.
Employers found to be asking these questions during recruitment, and using the information to discriminate against candidates, can expect to pay a fine - and discrimination payouts are unlimited.
To remain on the right side of the law, interviewers must steer clear of no go questions such as:
- Are you married?
- What are your childcare arrangements?
- Are you gay?
- Are you planning to start a family soon?
- Are you a member of a trade union?
- What political party do you support?
Many candidates don't realise they may be entitled to request flexible hours or a job share, and that employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabilities.
Sue Tumelty, author of the Which? CV and Interview Handbook, says: 'Long gone are the bad old days when a nervous interviewee had to answer all sorts of questions about their lifestyle and their personal views, rather than their ability to do the job.
'As employers can't judge a candidate's ability to do the job on their age, sex or religious views, for example, they've no business asking about these things, so interviewees are in no way compelled to answer.
'It helps to be aware of what you can and cannot be asked, so that you can feel confident in - politely - declining to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable.'