When you're a new manager, interviewing others can be difficult. To ensure interviews won't cross into what I call "don't-go-there territory," consider creating a structured guide with a list of questions you plan to ask every candidate, and make sure you understand the questions you should not ask.
During interviews (especially during the casual chit-chat portion), labor and employment attorney Renee Jackson recommends avoiding questions based on race, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, veteran or military status, and physical, mental or sensory disabilities.
These are all "protected classes" under Washington state law. For example, here are a few questions Jackson advises hiring managers in Washington NOT ask during job interviews:
"How many children do you have? Who will watch them while you're at work?"
"You may ask the applicant whether he/she can meet the specified work schedule for the position, but you may not inquire into the number of children or child-care arrangements," Jackson says.