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Forbidden Interview Questions: Things Interviewers Can't Ask You

Oct 20, 2023 08:42 PM
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In the world of job interviews, some questions are strictly off-limits. It's important that you know what questions are fair game and what questions can't be asked of you - what questions you have every right NOT to answer.

To help prepare you for interviewing, our team put together a list of a few of the questions that can't be asked of you:

  • "Are you planning on having kids soon?": This inquiry is invasive and potentially discriminatory. When evaluating candidates, focus should remain on their qualifications, skills, and experience, rather than their personal life or reproductive choices. Not. Okay.
  • "What's your religion?": Inquiring about a candidate's religious beliefs is a direct invasion of their privacy and threats a violation of their right to practice their faith without discrimination.
  • "Do you have any health issues?": Questions about a candidate's health, disabilities, or past illnesses are not only inappropriate but also illegal. Your health is your business, not any business's. 
  • "How old are you?/What year were you born?": Age-related questions are forbidden because they can lead to age discrimination. The focus should always be on the candidate's qualifications and experience, not their birthdate. 
  • "What's your marital status?": Marital status is irrelevant to a candidate's qualifications and ability to perform the job. Inquiring about it is inappropriate and can lead to gender and marital status discrimination. This question, like the other so far, is not okay on any level.
  • "Tell me about your political affiliations": Political affiliations have no place in the interview room. Asking candidates about their political beliefs or activities is not only inappropriate but can lead to discrimination and bias. 
  • "What is your sexual orientation?": Whoa! In today's diverse and inclusive workplace, it's crucial to respect and protect every candidate's rights and privacy. Asking about a candidate's sexual orientation is not only invasive but also discriminatory.
  • "At what age do you hope to retire?": Nope! Don't need to answer this. Your retirement plans are just for you.

As you prepare for interviews, remember that certain questions should remain strictly off-limits. Hiring managers must avoid asking about personal, sensitive, or discriminatory topics and stick to questions that assess a candidate's skills, qualifications, and experience in the spirit of maintaining a respectful, equitable, inclusive hiring process.