What are the illegal interview questions, and how do you answer them? Are these interview questions ethical? Although many interview questions are illegal, they are still asked by inexperienced and poorly trained interviewers.
In the USA, it is illegal to discriminate because of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, disability or marital status. Employers are prohibited from asking you about these issues. However, since they do, you need to know how to answer these questions without angering or demeaning the interviewer. You need to answer these illegal interview questions in such a way that you let the interviewer know they are inappropriate, without insulting him/her.
We will now go over the illegal interview questions, and ways deal with them. As a general rule of thumb, if you have to ask are these interview questions ethical and legal, they usually are not.
Interview questions ethical
The following are illegal interview questions. Unfortunately that does not mean you won’t be asked these questions.
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Do you have a speech, visual, or hearing disability?
Are you planning on having children? When?
Did you ever file a workers’ comp claim?
How many days of work have you missed in the past 2 years due to illness?
What activities do you participate in on your free time?
Would you have any problems working with female boss?
Where were you born?
Do you have children? How old are they?
What year did you graduate from college? (this information can reveal your age)
While these questions may seem simple and innocent, they are illegal. So how do you answer them?
Most employment professionals advise that you nicely say something to the effect: “I am not comfortable discussing this subject. Maybe you are unaware that this question is illegal to ask on an interview.”
Most interviewers surprisingly will not be put off by this response. They will actually be impressed that you were knowledgeable enough to point this out. Often they are grateful that you pointed it out to them. No one wants a potential lawsuit. It also shows them that you have integrity.
Many interviewees will try to skirt around and avoid these questions. That will just frustrate the interviewer. Its best to be direct and honest, and not look like your hiding something.
Now that we have answered the question “are these interview questions ethical and legal”, you need to be aware of important resources that can make your job search easier and more thorough.
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