If you want a new job, you can spend hours looking through postings until you find one you like. Then you have to do research into the company, polish your CV, and apply. When you finally get an interview it can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. Job interviews are scary, and you’re always aware that saying the wrong thing may cost you the job.
Off-Limit Job Interview Questions
But there are some questions you shouldn’t be asked in a job interview. In some cases asking them is ethically questionable, in others it would actually be illegal. Most of the questions below are not allowed to be asked about either directly or indirectly, and if an interviewer does ask, you should be aware that they may be breaking the law. Most of these questions would open you up to biases the interviewer may have, and could impact your chances of getting the job.
Don’t Answer These Job Interview Questions:
Nationality or National Origin
If you’re in a job interview, you should not be asked ‘where are you from?’ If someone does ask this question, you do not have to answer it, and depending on what country you’re in, they may be breaking the law by asking. That question might be motivated by a conscious or unconscious bias, and could make a difference in how likely you are to get the job.
No one should ask any invasive questions about your sexuality or your sexual identity during your job interview. Discrimination is of course a crime, and you do not have to entertain or answer any questions about your identity.
No potential employer should ever ask about your religion during a job interview. Given that it has no bearing on you ability to do the job, there should be no reason for them to ask about it.
Pregnancy Status or Intentions to Have Children
Whether you intend to have a family or not, your employer is not allowed to ask anything about those plans during your interview. It can factor into whether they consider you for the job, so is strictly off-limits.
Similar to the previous question, anyone who asks whether you’re married during your interview might want to use that information to determine how long you intend to stay with the company.
Potential employers are not allowed to ask about your age. Whether you’re older or younger, as long as you’re the minimum working age, you’re eligible for the job.
During your job interview, anything that makes you uncomfortable should be treated as a potential red flag. Remember that a job interview isn’t just a chance for them to understand more about you, it’s also a chance for you to understand more about the company. If you feel based on what happens at the interview that you don’t want the job, you don’t have to take it.
Check out the VHR Guide To Getting A Job if you want more advice on starting a new career.