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7 questions you CAN'T be asked at an interview

Here are the topics that a hiring manager can’t touch.

Image: Unsplash

WHEN IT COMES to your job interview, there are some questions that are completely off limits.

While it’s natural for a hiring manager to test your experience and abilities, some lines of questioning can indicate discrimination.

Here are just a few red flags that you should look out for.

1. How old are you?

“You look around my daughter’s age, are you in your twenties?” ”Do you think you’ll consider retiring anytime soon?” Employers can ask about your age in many different ways. It doesn’t matter how they try to dress it up, you can’t ask any candidate how old they are – it is as simple as that.

What they can ask: “Are you over 18?”

2. Are you pregnant?

This is a big no-no. You should never be asked about children, childcare or family commitments in an interview. Even if you are planning on having kids soon, you do not need to share this information with an interviewer.

3. What is your religious affiliation?

Your religion (or lack thereof) is your business and nobody else’s. Hiring managers can not ask you about your beliefs as this may indicate prejudice or even discrimination. Leave your religion at the door and refuse to answer any questions about your faith.

What they can ask: “Can you think of any personal reasons you might not be suitable for this role?”

4. Are you married?

Any questions about your marital status are off limits. It might seem like an innocent question, but your interviewer does not need to know about your husband or wife. Others may try to work around this by asking “What is your maiden name?”

What they can ask: “Are there any current commitments you can think of which could affect your ability to do this job?”

5. How many sick days did you take at your last job?

Subjects around your health and wellness should always be avoided in an interview scenario. The only time this should be discussed is if the interviewer is trying to establish whether or not they need to make adjustments in order to accommodate your needs e.g. allow remote working.

What they can ask: “Do you have any specific requirements in order to do this job effectively?’’

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6. Are you disabled?

Even if you are obviously disabled, a hiring manager can not question you about the severity of your disability. Instead, they can ask you about the things that you can or can’t do. For instance, they may ask you if you are able to perform all the roles associated with the job.

What they can ask: “Are you able to carry out the necessary job assignments safely?”

7. What is your race?

A potential employer cannot question you about your race and ethnicity. In fact, implying that your nationality would affect your ability to do the job could indicate discrimination.
They do, however, have a legal right to know if you can speak the local language fluently as this might affect your ability to do your job. They will also need proof of your legal right to work in that country.

What they can ask: “Are you authorised to work here?”

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About the author:

Alice Murray

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