Jobs are a necessity for any individual.
Some companies understand the necessity of a job and therefore may engage in illegal behavior with the applicant. There may be a number of reasons that the company acts like this. For one, the company may be too apprehensive about the kind of employee they hire, and therefore may try to get as much information as they can about them.
This causes them to ask questions that are either illegal or completely irrelevant to the job.
This article provides examples of illegal job interview questions and suggested ways to answer tackle and handle these types of questions.
7 Examples of illegal job interview questions
Here are some of the illegal questions during a job interview that may be asked by the employers:
1. Disability or Chronic Illness
These aspects are not related to the job and therefore should not be asked.
However, if the job requires the person to do some heavy duty work, it is legal to ask the questions related to the person’s health and basic stamina.
2. Place of Birth
The place of birth question is one of the most common questions asked, and may seem harmless, but the question is actually illegal, because with this question the interviewer can find out the ethnicity of the interviewee.
The employer cannot discriminate on the basis of religion. Therefore, they cannot ask any questions based on religion.
4. Smoking or Drinking Alcohol
Agreed that smoking and drinking can cause problems in the work place, but the fact stands that one cannot discriminate with a person because they consume a legal product.
Legally speaking, discriminating against a smoker would be equal to discriminating against someone who does not eat meat.
As far as the interview goes, the interview cannot ask whether the woman plans to get pregnant or not. This question is basically asked by the interviewer in a bid to ignore women who would take a maternity leave in a while. This question is illegal.
Asking whether a person is married or not may again seem to be a common question, but this question too falls in the realms of the illegal. However, there have been cases where a person has been discriminated against on the grounds that he or she is married. Therefore, one cannot ask this question.
Again, these are some of the questions that seem mandatory and simple, but these are aimed at finding out information about an employee, which may then be used to discriminate against him or her.
Of course, if the language is one of the most important aspects of the job, like you require a particular language to speak in an area that you would have to go in the future on the job, it is mandatory to answer the question.
Notice that most of the questions are of the harmless variety. But when asked together, they may give out information that you were actually not supposed to give out.
These are just some of the aspects that should be remembered while taking an interview. Remember that taking an interview is not only an aspect of your professional life but also your responsibility towards other professionals.
How to handle and Answer the illegal job interview questions
Finally, the question that arises is, what does the interviewee do when he or she is asked this question? There are 3 ways to handle these questions:
1. Answer the question:
The simplest answer to this query is to answer the question if you do not mind.
Simply put, refusing to answer these questions does stonewall you against many companies that would ask these questions on a regular basis. So, if you do not mind to answer, just answer them.
2. Refuse to answer:
Another option is to refuse to answer the question, which is not a good idea depending on the company.
Understand that a company asking this question probably knows that the question is illegal. By not answering the question, all you get is a chance to sue the company.
3. Answer the intention behind the question:
Alternately, if possible, you can answer not the question, but to answer to the intention behind the question. This is the best way if you want to be on the safer side..
Try to understand the reason behind the question and then decide to answer accordingly. (You may ask, before answering, in order to clarify the reason.)