No matter if you are searching for your first job or if you are looking for a new one, you will need to go through an interview. And while an interview may be stressful, the reality is that besides the fact that you may or may not get the job, you also need to be aware that some of the questions that you may be asked might be inappropriate.

While when you meet someone new at the gym or any other place and this person may ask you if you are married or if you have kids, you know that you don’t need to answer if you don’t want to. However, when you are in the middle of a job interview, you may think that you are forced to answer. And this is why some questions are considered not only inappropriate as they may also be considered illegal.

The truth is that if the interviewer asks if you are married, this may seem a harmless question. Nevertheless, it’s illegal to ask this to a candidate. After all, depending on your answer, you may get your name off the “consider hiring” list.

What Are Inappropriate Interview Questions?

Ultimately, the best definition that we can give you is that these are all the questions that aren’t related to your experience and skills.

Some of these questions may include those relating to religion, sexual orientation, age, country of origin, marital status, gender, health status, and others similar. As you can see, these are completely irrelevant to your skills and qualifications to perform the job that you are applying to.

The main reason why some of these questions may be considered not only inappropriate but also illegal is the fact that they may serve to discriminate. For example, if the interviewer asks you if you are married, this may be the way he has to know if you would be available to travel frequently, for example, or work in shifts.

How To Handle Inappropriate Interview Questions

Now that you already understand that there are some inappropriate interview questions as well as illegal questions, you need to keep in mind that some interviewers will ask still pose them.

So, how can you answer these?

The reality is that answering these questions is very tricky. You may adopt the honest answer and put the new job position at risk or you can lie about it and probably get the job. Besides, you also have the option to refuse to answer but this may seem that you’re very defensive.

So, what’s the right approach?

There are some things that you can do to avoid answering the question without being defensive.

For example, you may redirect a question to the interviewer or you can simply ask the interviewer why that particular question is relevant to your job.

In case you prefer to be more subtle, you may try to keep your answers general, broad, and short or you may try to avoid the question gracefully and steer the conversation elsewhere.

Categories: Talent Management


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