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.

Best Practices for Interviewing While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, and it changes the life of the would-be parents in many ways. Both the parents, especially the mother take various important steps to make this experience an enjoyable one. But if the mother is a working woman continuing her job or getting ready for a new job, being pregnant can pose some challenges. If you are pregnant and wishing to take some new work opportunities, you may have to consider certain vital factors. Usually expectant mothers remain concerned about how to deal with interviewers during the hiring process. Whether to reveal your pregnancy to potential employers, how to reveal and what will be the future of the job are some questions that baffle the minds of expectant mothers a lot.pregnant-woman-at-interview

Pregnancy, in no way, should be linked to a woman’s academic background and professional achievements, which are the basic parameters for any logical hiring interview and decision. Yet there are some practices, which you must know to keep your focus on the interview process itself and not your bump. Some beforehand preparations and strategies will surely make you a winner. Let’s discuss the various aspects:

1. Before the interview: If you want to search a real good job, you have to start early. Be practical. Scouring websites, contacting friends and colleagues, making calls for checking vacancies, doing some basic preparation for interviews are not that easy. When you are pregnant you may lose energy more quickly and suffer from mood swings. So doing all these will take bit more time in your case than a woman who is not pregnant.

Secondly, there are chances of you not getting too many offers if the hiring authority comes to know about your pregnancy. Whether to disclose the truth is a point that we will discuss later. But yes…no company can deny you employment legally because of your pregnancy. What happens in reality is not always what should happen. A hiring manager may look at you with raised eyebrows during the interview process when you show up with that bump. They may doubt your productivity and availability at work. They may even interview you although they decided to reject you at your very first sight. This is illegal, but you cannot do much to prove that your pregnancy was the sole reason for you not getting the offer. In this way, you may lose many offers. Since you have to keep trying on, you must start early.

2. During the interview: You might already have learnt about all the contradictory ideas regarding whether to disclose or not your pregnancy news to your employer. There are two sides of the coin:

  • It is not mandatory to reveal your pregnancy. But you can inform your employer, if you want. If you desire to work for 7-8 months during pregnancy, it is better to make them informed as they will eventually come to know when your tummy will go bigger. So chances are that your manager will like your honesty and help you during tough times. Even if you are newly pregnant and choose not to reveal the fact, your manager may feel resentful thinking that you could have told them something sooner during the interview process.
  • According to many career coaches, it is best not to disclose the truth while job hunting. Until the point you get a good, firm offer, you must not reveal. In many cases, this truth may act against your favour. Once you join the job, try hard to please your manager with hard work and great presentation skills. This is possible in earlier months of pregnancy. Once your suit jacket doesn’t button up, you may talk with your boss in a polite way. Now, if you are fifth month pregnant and going through the interview ordeal, you may also choose not to reveal. If this is a telephonic or online interview, you need not. Once you get the confirmation letter from the company and if you need not go to the office throughout the entire process, don’t disclose the matter. Once you start going to the office, look for some befitting situation when you can tell your boss about the reality. And if you are fired, you may go for a pregnancy discrimination case.

3. Dealing with doubts of the interviewer: Your interviewer may express their doubt whether you will able to give your 100% at work, take maternity leaves at an early period, or quit your job, to think of the worst. Here you must show your eagerness for the job, your preparedness for the coming times and how you plan to manage your family and work. Devise some strategies well in advance and let the employers know how responsible you can be as a professional. Talk about your future plans and how your availability and skill sets will fit what the organization strives for.

4. Use your experience: If you are an experienced mother, you can speak from your previous experience regarding how to create balance between job and personal life.

5. After the interview: It might happen that the entire interview process has happened over telephone and you have been called to the office to meet team member, some specific clients or simply to collect the appointment letter. You haven’t disclosed your pregnancy. You are thinking about the fears your manager or clients may have regarding your work ethic and availability. The best way to address these fears is to look confident, prepare for the typical questions-answers as discussed above and talk about your skill sets and commitment level. The sight of any office member looking at your belly must not lower your confidence. Break the ice with some words like “surprise” and tell them that you are ready to answer their questions regarding your availability and professionalism.

Thinking about all these issues is normal. But that does not mean you start ignoring new opportunities. If you are miserable in your present office, looking for ways to adjust with your manager, fired because of a huge company layoff or relocated to a new place due to family matters, you will have to search for a new job. Again there may be other situations also. You start searching for a new job and find yourself pregnant. In both the ways, you need to be careful while being interviewed. To score the job, you have to convince the interviewer by your professional attitude, strategic planning skills, ability to think differently and manage situations accordingly and of course, by your smartness and sense of humour.