As you know, you can't discriminate against a job applicant. AND you mustn't ask questions that can be seen as discriminatory.
But how do you avoid discriminatory questions? How does one even determine a question is discriminatory?
Take the following account when drawing up your interview questions:
The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you must consider these points when drawing up your interview questions:
#1: Criteria: Age
What to avoid: Asking the candidate how old they are if it has nothing to do with the job requirement.
What you can ask: If, on the other hand, the candidate needs to meet a minimum or maximum age requirement that's a genuine occupational qualification, you can ask his age.
#2: Criteria: Disabilities
What to avoid: Questions designed to elicit information about a disability.
What you can ask: How the candidate would perform the job and if he could perform the job with or without accommodation.
#3: Criteria: Height or weight requirements
What to avoid: Height or weight requirements not related to job.
What you can ask: Height or weight requirements if they're necessary for the job. For example, horse-riding jockeys need to meet certain criteria.
#4: Criteria: Marital and family status
What to avoid: Questions about marital status, childcare, number of children or pregnancy.
What you can ask: Questions about if the candidate can meet work schedule. Ask all questions to candidates of both sexes.
#5: Criteria: National origin
What to avoid: Lineage, ancestry, descent, native language, birthplace and national origin of spouse or parents.
What you can ask: If a candidate's legally eligible to work in South Africa. And can communicate well enough to perform the job's essential functions.
#6: Criteria: Race or colour
What to avoid: Complexion or colour of skin.
What you can ask: None, unless it's an inherent requirement of the job
#7: Criteria: Religion
What to avoid: Religious preference or affiliation, unless you're a religious organisation and are hiring for positions that further the institution's religious mission.
What you can ask: If a candidate can meet the work schedule with reasonable accommodation, if necessary.
#8: Criteria: Gender
What to avoid: Candidate's gender, where it isn't a genuine occupational qualification.
What you can ask: Candidate's gender, where it's a genuine occupational qualification, such as actor, actress or locker room attendant.
The bottom line: Make sure your interview questions:
Discrimination on any other grounds other than those listed above may also be unfair if they have the potential to fundamentally and negatively impact the candidate's dignity as a human being.
So take the above mentioned points into account when drawing up your interview questions to avoid unfair discrimination.