Illegal Interview Questions that don’t deserve an answer

The very idea of appearing for a job interview is nerve-wracking at times, especially when you are not confident enough. It is really difficult for someone who is unable to think clearly under pressure, as the questions asked during the interview require relevant and well-formed answers. But what if you come across some illegal interview questions?

It is necessary to be aware of your employment rights, as there are certain illegal interview questions that interviewers are prohibited from asking and you can simply refuse to answer them. By knowing the kind of questions that are beyond the limit and preparing well on how to respond to those will make your interview less stressful.

Marshall wanted to switch his job when he was in his early 50s. He got invited for an interview from a company, where he was made to fill various forms, asking for his details, including his age. After submitting all the forms, he waited for his interview. As he waited, a young and attractive lady entered the hall for a job interview and she was called in before him. Marshall failed to get the job offer, as the lady was offered that position. But as he filed age discrimination claims with the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), he received $50,000.

Such discriminations are often overlooked by candidates while searching for a job, but the reason interviewers ask such questions varies. Sometimes they discriminate, as they did with Marshall. On the other hand, there are also cases when the interviewers ask random questions to keep up the conversation.

Most Hated Business Phrases

Here are some questions that are considered as illegal interview questions:

  • How old are you?
  • Are you planning to get married or are you married?
  • Are you a native English speaker?
  • Where are you from originally?
  • Are you going to have kids?
  • What religion do you practice and which religious holidays do you celebrate?
  • How often do you call in sick?
  • What is your citizen status?
  • Have you got any outstanding debts?
  • Do you live nearby?
  • Can you provide us with your social media login credentials?
  • Have you ever been arrested?

The tricky part is responding to such questions. You can simply refuse to answer any question that is related to your gender, religion, nationality, disability, age, family status, your financial position or type of military discharge. But, refusing to answer such questions may result in a very awkward situation and may endanger your chances of getting the job. So, if you feel that the interviewer is simply trying to keep up the conversation, you can answer some questions that are not so private. But keep in mind that it is your right to refuse.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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