There are a number of job interview questions that are completely off limits to the employer. These illegal interview questions are banned because they reveal personal information that is not allowed to be used by employers to make hiring decisions.
Still, sometimes the interviewer is inexperienced and not aware of these laws, or maybe they are blatantly ignoring it because they do not think you will call them on it. When an employer asks you an illegal job interview question, you need to first assess whether or not it is worth mentioning that the question is not acceptable, and if not, finding an answer that still puts you in a position to get the job.
Do You Plan to Have Children?
Employers are not allowed to ask if you plan on having children. They do not want to hire someone that is going to take 6 months off for maternity leave, but according to the law, they have no choice. They are not allowed to discriminate for things in your personal life. Still, it is very possible that an interviewer asks this question in good faith, without even realizing that the question is illegal. You may still want to answer it, and assess later whether you want to even work for a company that does not know how to interview applicants correctly.
“Yes, me and my wife are trying to get pregnant right now. Thanks for asking!”
Don’t give away what you are doing in your personal life. It has no business in the workplace.
“Quite frankly, my personal life is the furthest thing from my mind right now. At this point in my life I am looking to focus on my career, and finding a position within a great company.”
It may be a good idea to simply say “no” since it is none of the company’s business anyway, but you can also give an unclear answer that proves that your goal is your career, and this should help your job interview chances.
Illegal interview questions are illegal, but they can also be tough to avoid. If you are faced with one, consider first whether or not the question matters to you, and answer it anyway if you can find a good answer for it.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Sometimes you need to answer illegal job interview questions.
- Try to refrain from giving away personal information.