Job seekers receive loads of advise regarding interview preparation. Starting from topics they need to prepare; to the type of attire they need to wear during the selection process. For just anything you want to know regarding interviews, you have millions to help you out.
Often, we come across people who caution interviewees that they need to prepare well; as the interviewers can ask anything under the sky….Excuse me! What is that “anything??”
No and never. Yes, interviewers can ask anything under the sky; only in an attempt to know the candidate’s skills and expertise or knowledge relevant to the job postings.
While there is much hue and cry about interview preparation techniques, very less do we know about things an interviewer cannot ask applicants. Yeah….Don’t be surprised. This is a fact.
Well, to term these questions as illegal will be an exaggeration. However, when recruiters take their hiring decisions based on these personal attributes, they can be dragged to the court by candidates.
The next time you suffer interview rejections for that one question you felt was inappropriate, do not be confused. Refer to this post to know what your recruiter cannot ask you and suggestions on how to dodge them out.
- How old are you?
- What is your age?
- Can you provide your birth certificate or photo ID that has your birth date on it?
- How long have you been in the workforce?
- When did you graduate or when did you start working?
Your recruiter’s only concern is to verify your legal age required for the job role. Therefore, knowing that you qualify above the legal age is more than sufficient. In no way you are required to specify the exact date and timings of your birth.
Secondly, your photo Ids are only required when you are already hired and not during the hiring process. Again, there is a huge difference when you are asked about the number of years you have spent in the workforce and the number of years you have spent in some particular domain. The former help recruiters guess a candidate’s age, while the latter helps to judge relevant expertise.
- What is your nationality?
- Where are you from?
- Do your parents hold US citizenship?
- For how long have you been in the US?
- What is your first language?
State laws do require professionals to follow some legal norms that earn them permit to work in their natives or somewhere abroad. These are all legal procedures that are handled by definite judiciary departments. Your recruiters only need to know if you are abiding by these laws or not.
Yes, they can ask you to prove your employment eligibility with suitable documents; however, it is only when they are done with scrutinizing your talents and knowledge relevant to the job vacancy.
It is a matter of additional expertise when applicants can prove their bilingual or multilingual skills. Many job roles do require this as an essential candidate requirement. Therefore, wanting to know your language proficiency is of no harm; however, your first language need not be of any concern for your employers.
- Are you married?
- What is the name of your spouse or kid?
- When do you plan for having a family?
- How much does your spouse earn annually?
- How will you manage your family if you need to work for longer hours?
- When does your pregnancy period end?
The questions listed above are just few examples from this section. Any question related to your family cannot be asked and never entertained by you. Family details; precisely marital status, is only required while filling some insurance forms.
However, that is done only when candidates have been selected and have spent few days In the workplace. In no condition,interviewers can ask these questions during the recruitment session.
Many women complain that interviewers are biased while selecting candidates and very easily reject those female applicants who are pregnant. Well, this is something very serious and is a criminal offense under Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
- What religion do you practice?
- What religious holidays do you observe?
- Do you attend Sunday church regularly?
- What is your religious affiliation?
Many experienced HR recruiters do not ask these questions. These are usually put forth by professionals who are new to this job of hiring. It may happen that some job roles do require professionals to work for rotational schedules including weekends or State holidays.
Therefore, recruiters want to know candidate’s availability during these days as well. Whatever may be the case, these questions are not expected during interview sessions or even after selection.
- Where do you live?
- Are you taking some forbidden drugs?
- Were you ever been arrested?
- Are you comfortable working with male/female co workers?
- Don’t you attend gym, what is your weight or height?
- Are you a member of any club?
You may have attended numerous interviews; however, every interview experience might have been unique in its own way. Some may have come across these above mentioned questions as well and are perhaps working in that particular organization.
However, as it has been mentioned above that, simply asking these questions is not a punishable crime. Most recruiters do not even know these legal aspects and just put forth these questions in an attempt to be friendly and make applicants feel more comfortable during the session.
Therefore, do not just come out of the hall agitated if you are asked these questions in any of your future interviews. Try to understand the interviewers intention of knowing your non job relevant information and answer aptly without disclosing your personal details.
However, if you feel you have been rejected on the basis of any of these factors, you need to take some legal steps to get something you truly deserve.