Illegal Interview Questions
Most of the candidates feel intimidated while facing an interview. Some questions, though seem innocent enquiries, must be avoided by an employer. And, as a candidate, you too have a right to refuse to answer any question that you find is irrelevant or illegal in nature.
An employer should refrain from gathering personal information of the candidate. Such questions can harm the reputation of the company. In general, a candidate cannot be asked about his age, religion, marital status, disability, nationality, race or ethnicity. (Note: Except defense jobs)
Common Illegal Interview Questions :
Following is a short list of illegal questions that should be generally avoided by the employers.
- How old are you?
More than the age, it is the qualification and the work experience that counts while recruiting. Discrimination based on age is certainly a breech of ethics.
- What is your marital status?
It may seem as a general, introductory question. But you must realize that this is a job interview and no a social do. Whether a candidate is married or single should not be of any concern to the company.
- When do you plan to start a family?
Even though a company might be contemplating on maternity leaves that women might take, it is indecent and rude to ask this question.
- Which religion do you belong to?
This is another illegal question, which can have far reaching effects. Company is not required to know about the religion of the candidate. The company also cannot ask you about your religious beliefs or challenge them.
- Do you suffer from any chronic illness?
Unless the job involves any physical activities, an employer cannot ask you about your diseases or illnesses.
- What is your nationality?
Even if it is obvious that a candidate belongs to another country, it is not considered as a valid question. At the most, employers can ask information regarding authorization to work in that country and details about the work permit.
- What do you do on a Sunday? / In your free time?
Whatever a candidate does in his/ her free time should be of no concern to the employer. Questions relating to your hobbies or interest are perfectly sane.
- What is your financial status? Are you in debts?
This is a very uncomfortable question to face. Information regarding candidates' financial or debt status should in no way be introduced during an interview.
- Are you or any of your family members involved in legal matters?
Whatever are the legal issues faced by a candidate, except for job related crimes, should not be an issue with the company.
As a candidate, you may side step these questions smartly by politely asking in what way the questions relate to the job profile.
However, these questions are looked upon as discriminatory factors and hence, are illegal.