Job application questions

What can I be asked about when applying for a job?

An employer should only ask a jobseeker questions that have relevance to the job advertised. If questions are asked that have no relevance to the job (whether in an interview or on a job application form) then you can ask the Commission for advice. If the question is to do with one of the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act the Commission will be able to help further.

The Human Rights Commission has published a guide on many common pre-employment situations. To see a copy, click here: Getting a job: An A-Z for employers and employees.

Most job application forms need to be completed in advance of any interview, which means that jobseekers may not know if the information sought is relevant to the job. However, employers should not generally ask questions about:

  • age – unless it is necessary for the purposes of the Minimum Wages Act or the Sale of Liquor Act
  • date of birth
  • holding a driver’s licence (unless it is essential for the position)
  • past and/or current health status
  • authority to access ACC claims history
  • details of next-of-kin, partner or dependents.


Other organisations that can provide useful information about pre-employment processes include:

To contact the Commission for help, call the Infoline number on 0800 496 877.

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