Be Aware: These are Few Illegal Interview Questions

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??”

Can you ask me my clothing brands?? Can you ask me how I had spent Valentine’s Day previous year? Or for that matter, how often I visit children amusement parks??asking Illegal Interview Questions

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?asking age

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?asking citizenship

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?asking family details

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?asking spiritual information

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?

The list goes on….Illegal Interview Questions

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.

How to Answer Typical but Tough Interview Questions

Preparing for a good interview is no easy matter. Whether it is a telephonic or face-to-face conversation, you need to do some basic preparation. It is the first step of creating a good impression. Many times the good impression becomes the differentiator factor for you and fetches you your dream job. Of course, your skill sets, educational qualifications, confidence level and smartness play a vital role.

Now-a-days everyone learns about the tricks and tips of good interview by surfing across various websites on the internet. But when it comes to answering typical and tough questions, not all are able to excel. You need to research a lot about these questions and answer in a tactful way so that the interviewer is able to gauge your confidence and ability in a short while. From the employer’s point of view, these questions help them reject the wrong candidate. On the other hand, preparing for those typical yet tricky questions in the right time will help the interviewee to prove as the right candidate and stand out from the crowd.Interview

Now get ready to perform well under pressure. Prepare well so that you answer well. Read these popular questions that are asked in almost all job interviews. Also given are the ways to answer to these questions smartly.

1. Question: “Introduce yourself” or “Can you tell me a little about yourself”?

Answer: The answer to this question is definitely not a well-rehearsed speech about your age, degree, schools and colleges, hobbies etc. All these things are mentioned in your resume. It means that the hirer wants to know who you are and why you are the best for this position. Just brief about yourself and your professional experience related to the position you are seeking for in just 2 minutes. Ask the person whether he wants to know more. If he shows interests, cite one or two examples of your professional achievements and how those benefitted your earlier companies and how those relate to the current job position.

If you are a fresher then talk about your schools, colleges, your areas of interest and also about this specific job. Remember with this question, the employer is also trying to assess your smartness, communication skill and style of delivery

2. Question: What are your greatest strengths?

Answer: Don’t exaggerate your achievements and other strengths. Don’t sound over-confident while answering. Talk about your work experience, abilities and achievements that are relevant to the current position and can benefit the company. If possible, cite some examples. If you are into some sales job you can mention how any of your achievements and thought process contributed to the company’s record breaking sales numbers. Here you may talk about your ability to learn, co-operate with other team members and a willingness to work for long duration.

3. Question: What are your weaknesses?

Answer: Don’t try to be too honest with your answer. Every person has a weakness. But the interviewers do not want you to reveal your real weakness. The best way to answer this question is talk about a professional quality that you are trying to improve. For example, you can say “I used to have some issues with work-life balance. Now I have learnt better time management skills in both my personal and professional lives. I wake up much early so that I can take care of my health, finish important personal tasks and this particular habit is affecting my work life positively”. This proves that you are a mature and positive-minded individual. Don’t talk about any of your personal bad habits like smoking or drinking in any case.

4. Question: Why do you want to shift from your current job?

Answer: You may have quite a number of reasons to leave your present job. You may not like your current work profile, your boss or any of your colleagues. Even then you should not speak ill about them. No interviewer expects you to complaint about your previous office or its employees. The best answer to this question may be “I have been in my previous job since 3-4 years and now want more challenge at work that will add to my learning”.

If you have no experience and your interviewer asks you “Why are you interested in the present job”, you might say that this profile is more in line with your skill sets and abilities and you simply like this.

5. Question: Where do you like to see you in 3 or 5 years down the line?

Answer: If you are an experienced candidate, you may talk about the next higher role and the type of challenges you like to undertake. On the other hand, if you are a fresher talk about the areas that interest you and how you would like to achieve heights in your career. In no case, you should talk about becoming the board member or president of the company.

6. Question: Do you have any queries?

Answer: Never say ‘no’ to this question. Instead do your research about the company and the position you are seeking for, at home. Now ask at least 2 questions so that the interviewer knows that you are well read and have a lot of interest in the company. Again you can use this opportunity to prove yourself as the best candidate, if you think the hiring authority have some doubts regarding your performance and ability.

Remember, you must prepare for these questions well ahead of the time. Don’t wait for the day before the interview.  Have a family member or friend to interview you with the tough questions. Listen to their responses and rectify your mistakes. You can even practise in front of a webcam and judge your responses and mannerisms. On the big day, show yourself as the best candidate while remaining polite, gentle and positive-minded. It might happen that even after preparing well, you are caught off guard by a tricky question. Remain calm, think about a good answer, build a logical sequence to your composed thought and then only respond. Thus succeeding in a job interview may be tough, but not impossible.