Going into any interview is daunting. You should not have to worry about being discriminated against during this already nerve-racking process. Unfortunately, a lot of interviewers will ask inappropriate questions that allow the employer to discriminate against you. You should know what kind of questions to look out for and know your rights. If you have answered any of these questions in the past and think that answer cost you a job opportunity, you should contact an employment lawyer. There is a lot of useful information available at the Levitt LLP website.
1. Details About Your Family
Your interviewer may not ask whether you have children or whether you plan to have children in the future. Especially for parents, this question may seem casual and harmless. Interviewers may ask it nonchalantly to cover up the inappropriateness of the question. While it is not illegal to ask this question, it is illegal for interviewers to use your answer in their hiring decision. This question is often used to discriminate against women, who are perceived as needing more time off to care for their children. You should also avoid answering questions about your marital status. If your interviewer brings it up, try to politely steer the conversation back to more professional topics.
2. Your Age
Companies are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of age. The only question your interviewer should ask you about your age is whether you are over the age of 18. You should also avoid questions about your graduation year, as your employer can deduce your age from that information. Unfortunately, the interviewer might be able to gauge your age from your appearance. If you think that you lost a job opportunity because of your age, you should contact an employment lawyer.
3. Whether You Have Been Arrested
Employers are allowed to ask whether you have been convicted of a crime and they are allowed to discriminate on that basis in most situations. Not everyone who has been arrested, however, has been convicted of a crime. If your interviewer asks about your arrest record, switch the focus to whether or not you have been convicted. “I have never been convicted of a crime,” is a simple and honest way to avoid questions about prior arrests.
4. Your Health or Disability
Interviewers should be very careful about asking about your health or physical ability. They may ask whether you could perform the functions of the job without reasonable accommodation, but they may not ask you details about the nature of your disability. They also may not ask you to demonstrate a job function that they do not ask the other applicants to demonstrate unless they have reason to believe your disability would impact your performance. Your health is your business and you should not have to disclose that private information unless it impacts your ability to perform the job for which you interview.