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6 Illegal Interview Questions to Avoid

6 Illegal Interview Questions to Avoid

Hamsa Ramesha

June 25, 2010

Wondering which questions you’ll be asked during your job interview? You should expect the usual ones, such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What’s your greatest weakness?” But then there are more colorful questions, such as “What animal best describes you?” and “If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?” that you should brace yourself for.

Regardless of what questions get thrown your way, there are a handful of interview questions you should never be asked. Be aware — questions about subjects in these categories violate your rights:

• Age• National origin
• Birthplace• Race
• Color• Religion
• Disability• Sex
• Marital/family status

However, don’t assume an employer’s prying questions are suggestive of discriminatory intentions. Often, a hiring manager is just trying to assess your fit for the job, not trying to illegally discriminate. While you can’t be asked directly about any of these topics, don’t be surprised if you find yourself discussing your family or religion with a potential employer either. It all depends on how the question is phrased.

While it’s important to protect yourself from illegal interview questions, there are legal alternatives to get the same information out of you. Be prepared and know your options by checking out these six examples of illegal interview questions, and how they can be rephrased to pass the law.

Next: “Are You a U.S. Citizen?” >>


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