Do you know that there are questions that you shouldn’t ask or be asked during a job interview? Guess what? Some countries even made these questions illegal! Yes, you can get yourself in hot waters if you are caught unaware. If you are a hiring manager or a recruiter, heads up on the following inappropriate questions that you shouldn’t ask your candidates. If you are actively searching for a job, do protect yourself by knowing how to react to these questions.

Are you planning to start a family in the first two years?

This is a major big no no. Whether the candidate is married or their family plans have nothing to do with his or her capabilities at work. Personally, I was caught off guard by this question when I was asked in one of the job interviews and I was seriously offended by it.

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Who will take care of your children while you’re at work?

Any family arrangements do not come into play when comes to abilities to fulfil work commitments. Rather, an appropriate question can be “Are you able to commit to working long hours and weekends if there is a need to?”

Do you celebrate Christmas?

Or any other religious holidays. It is a very sensitive question and bordering on being offensive and bias. Another question like “Are you able to work on public holidays?” would be a lot better.

Are you a / What is your sexual orientation?

I don’t have to highlight this for you to know that this is a highly inappropriate question and deem to be sexual harassment as well. Seriously, I will be shocked if a question about one’s sexual orientation is asked during an interview or even in a workplace in this modern times.

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Are you on medication?

Unless you are asking on the pretext of the safety of operating machinery while under influence of certain drugs, you don’t have the right to check on individual’s medical history. There is a reason why medical history is only privy to his doctor and out of bounds to outsiders.

Have you brought a lawsuit against another employer?

Understandably that no company will want to hire someone who previously sued his or her boss. I’ll be jittery if I know I have an employee who sued his previous boss even though I have nothing to be nervous about. But this is a question that you can’t ask otherwise, you might be the next one to be sued.

Have you been arrested?

You can ask if the candidate ever convicted of a crime but you can’t ask if he has been arrested before. An arrest does not equal to conviction and all are innocent unless proven guilty.

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Which country are you originated from?

Like sexual orientation, this is another sensitive question. You can ask if the candidate is a citizen of the country and if not if he needs assistance for work permit application. Other than that, this question serves no purposes in determine whether he is a competent employee.

Should you do face an inappropriate question during an interview, do not be fazed. Calmly asked the interviewer the purpose of the question. If you are comfortable, go ahead and answer the question as straightforward as possible without feeling the need to elaborate further. However, if you are offended, don’t feel obligated to answer the question, instead politely but firmly declined answering the question. If your employment hangs on your answer to an inappropriate question, you won’t be happy working in the company anyways.

What do you think? Have you come across any inappropriate questions? Please do share with us your experiences in the comments.

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14 replies on “Inappropriate Interview Questions

  1. Pingback: The dishumanization of the biz-corporate industry. Inappropriate Interview Questions  | rudolfblog
  2. I worked in an office that handled issues arising between various minority groups, and we were trying to hire a director. My boss said, “We need to hire a white woman!” because our previous director had been a jerky man, and a white person would be less likely to favor one minority group over another. We were like, “Decent reasoning, but highly illegal in the job description!”

    My mother thinks it’s O.K. to ask someone if he’s gay and then not hire him if he says yes. So, that’s interesting.

    I have been fortunate in not having been asked those questions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The key here is not to get the company sued and you fired if you are the interviewer and to protect yourself if you’re the interviewee. But alas, not everyone is aware of the rules and put themselves in vulnerable position. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

      Like

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