Avoid Illegal Interview Questions to Steer Clear of Trouble
During the interview process, job candidates are sometimes faced with illegal questions that could put them in legal hot water. These questions might be related to age, sexual orientation, race, religion, and other protected characteristics – areas that are off-limits when it comes to making hiring decisions based on these factors (and more).
So if you’re asked an illegal question at an interview, what should you do You should never feel obligated to answer an illegal question; instead, you can either respond directly by saying that it’s an illegal question or follow the lead of the interviewer and redirect the conversation back to your qualifications.
What constitutes an illegal interview question
Questions about an applicant’s protected characteristics, such as their race, religion, or age, are illegal. So are questions about whether they’re married or have children. You cannot ask an applicant about their criminal record, and you should avoid questions that could reveal if they have a disability.
Finally, do not ask questions about an applicant’s salary history or require them to take a drug test. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the body that oversees compliance with the Civil Rights Act. They can help answer any questions you may have about what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to avoid it in your hiring process.
What are some examples of illegal interview questions?
Asking about an applicant’s race, religion, or national origin is not allowed. Neither is inquiring about an individual’s age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability. It is also against the law to ask about an applicant’s arrest record or if they have ever been convicted of a crime. Finally, you cannot ask questions about an individual’s use of drugs or alcohol.
For example, it would be illegal to ask if someone has been drunk at work before or how often they drink in general. If any of these questions are on your list for interviewees, it’s time to reevaluate what you want and change your list accordingly.
Do you have any tips for responding to illegal interview questions?
When an interviewer asks an illegal question, they are testing your boundaries. It is important to be direct and assertive when responding to these questions. You can say something like, I’m not comfortable answering that question. or That question is not relevant to my qualifications for this position.
If the interviewer persists, you can politely end the interview by saying something like, I don’t think this is the right fit for me. Remember, you are not obligated to answer any question that makes you uncomfortable.
Should I consult my attorney about this job opportunity?
No matter how great a job opportunity may seem, you should always consult with an attorney before signing any employment contract. An attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law and can advise you on whether or not the job is in your best interests.
They will also have contacts for legal advice or assistance if something goes wrong during your time as an employee. You should never sign anything without first consulting with someone who understands what it says and what you are agreeing to do.
Should I bring up my concern during the interview?
You should avoid asking questions about illegal topics during an interview. Not only could it make you look bad, but it could also put the company in a difficult legal position. Instead, try to focus on asking questions about the role and the company culture.
If you’re concerned about a particular issue, you can always bring it up after the interview is over. Or if you don’t want to jeopardize your chances for getting the job, try doing some research before going into the interview.