No doubt, and I know a lot of US recruiters wish very strongly that they could have these kind of interactions with potential hires.
However, the difficulty of friendly, open interviewer-interviewee discussions like this is one of those unintentional side effects of otherwise well-intentioned anti-discrimination laws. It's a good example of why trying to legislate a problem away can sometimes make other problems pop up in its place.
Bill S. Preston told you everything you need to know. People are not out to get you. Acting as if they are is toxic and inhumane.
Do what's right, not what's safe.
It can and does happen. People sue over hiring decisions all the time.
It's unfortunate, but the way I figure, if you try to make laws that dictate morality (a la anti-discrimination laws), people are less likely to have and follow their own moral code in that area. "Why do I need to decide what's right or reasonable when the law does it for me?"
Also, most people are nice, but the small minority of people who are assholes can cause huge damage, amplified by the legal system. It's those people whom lawyers are (reasonably) worried about.
It happens often enough that the conventional wisdom (and "conventional" generally means "wrong", so excuse my skepticism) is that people sue all the time, and so liability-paranoid corporate entities concoct policies that institutionalize fear of the people who could go work for them. To go along with the fear of the people who do work for them.
But I have yet to see data that suggests that it's on the top thousand things any corporation big enough to hire people should worry about.
> It's those people whom lawyers are (reasonably) worried about.
Fight them. I have long ago decided that I will quit if my job interferes with doing right by people.
It hasn't happened yet, but I'm careful about my employer.