A prospective employer cannot ask about your financial status or credit rating during the course of an interview. There are limited exceptions to this, if you are applying for certain financial and banking positions.
If you were unemployed for a period of time, be direct and to the point about what you've been up to (and hopefully, that's a litany of impressive volunteer and other mind-enriching activities, like blogging or taking classes). Then, steer the conversation toward how you will do the job and contribute to the organization: "I decided to take a break at the time, but today I'm ready to contribute to this organization in the following ways.
An interviewer may ask questions relating to the branch of military in which you served, and your attained rank. It is also legal to ask about any education or experience relating to the position to which you are applying.
You may not be asked about your type of discharge, or about your military records. Questions relating to foreign military service are forbidden as well. If you choose to answer these questions, you can indicate that there is nothing in your records that would impair your ability to succeed in the job.
During an interview, an interviewer can ask if you are able to work during the normal hours of operation of the business.
An interviewer cannot ask your religious affiliation, or holidays that you observe. It is illegal to be asked your place of worship, or your beliefs. If you are asked questions of this kind, you may reply that your faith will not interfere with your ability to do the job.
Interviewer can ask questions regarding whether you are able to meet work schedules, or travel for the position. He can ask about how long you expect to stay at a particular job, or with the prospective firm. Whether you anticipate any extended absences can also be asked.
An interviewer can't ask your marital status, if you have children, what your child care situation is, or if you intend to have children (or more children). You cannot be asked about your spouse's occupation or salary. If you choose to answer a question of this kind, a graceful way to answer is to say that you are able to perform all the duties that the position entails.
In a face to face interview, it is unlikely that an interviewer will not know your gender, but important that your gender not be taken into account in her assessment of your ability to do the job. You can't be asked your gender during any kind of interview for a position, unless it directly relates to your qualifications for a job, such as an attendant in a rest room, or locker room.
Interviewer may ask questions pertaining to your ability to perform specific tasks, such as "Are you able to safely lift and carry items weighing up to 30 pounds?", or "This position requires standing for the length of your shift, are you able to do that comfortably?" or "Are you able to sit comfortably for the duration of your shift?"
Under no circumstances is a prospective employer allowed to ask your height, weight, or any details regarding any physical or mental limitations you may have, except as they directly relate to the job requirements. If you choose to reply, you can state "I am confident that I will be able to handle the requirements of this position."
During an interview, an interviewer can legally ask about any convicted crimes that relate to the job duties. For example, if you are interviewing for a position that requires handling money or merchandise, you can legally be asked if you have ever been convicted of theft.
During an interview, you cannot be asked about arrests without convictions, or involvement in any political demonstrations. You may choose to tell the interviewer simply, "There is nothing in my past which would affect my ability to perform the duties of this job."
There are few questions legal to ask relating to ancestry and race which are pertinent to employment. During an interview, you may legally be asked,
"How many languages are you fluent in?",
"Are you legally eligible to work in this country?"
If you are asked an illegal interview question, you always have the option to end the interview, or refuse to answer the question(s). It may be uncomfortable to do, but you need to be comfortable working at the company, and if the questions you are being asked during the interview are indicative of the company's policies, you may be better off finding out now.
Sometimes an interviewer will ask inappropriate questions accidentally, and in that case, you may choose to answer them politely, avoiding the substance of the question, but addressing the intent.
There are instances where an employer may need to determine an applicant's age. The interviewer can ask a young interviewee if he has appropriate working papers. If the job requires that an applicant is of a legal minimum age for the position.
an interviewer can't ask your age directly:
★ How old are you?
★ When did you graduate?
★ What is your date of birth?
There are many topics which should be off-limits during a job interview. Questions about age, ancestry, citizenship, credit rating, criminal record, disabilities, family status, gender, military discharge, or religion should not be asked directly by an interviewer.
This is usually the best option, since it allows you to provide a tactful answer without sacrificing your rights. To answer the intent behind the question, try to figure out what the interviewer REALLY wants to know. For example, if the interviewer asks if you are a U.S. citizen (which is an illegal question), a smart answer would be, "If you mean to ask if I am legally authorized to work for you, the answer is yes." In cases like these, it's best to rephrase the question into a legal one and then answer it. This displays flexibility and composure -- strong job skills.
Inform the interviewer that the question doesn't seem to be legal or relevant to the specific requirements of the job. Be forewarned, though, that such a direct response should really be saved for questions that are offensive or deeply troubling.
Just answer the question. If you don't mind providing the information and you don't want to make waves, you can respond to the question and move on to the next one. Keep in mind, however, that you should only answer the question if you truly are comfortable providing the information it could come back to haunt you.
► All questions are illegal
Possible Legal Alternatives
► Are you available for work on Saturday and Sunday?
► Have you ever been arrested?
Possible Legal Alternative
► Have you ever been convicted of ____ crime? (Legal if the crime is reasonably relevant to the job; e.g. embezzlement for a banking job.)
Example of Illegal Questions
► What clubs or social organizations do you belong to?
► Do you go to church?
Possible Legal Alternatives
► List any professional or trade groups or other organizations that you belong to that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job.
► Where were you/your parents born?
► What is your native language?
► What is your country of citizenship?
► Are you a Canadian citizen?
► Do you have any disabilities?
► Have you had any recent illness or operations?
► Please complete this medical questionnaire.
► What was the date of your last physical exam?
► How's your family's health?
► When did you lose your eyesight/ leg/ hearing/ etc.?
► How tall are you?
► How much do you weigh?
(Questions about height and weight are always illegal unless it can be proven that there are minimum requirements to do the job.)
Possible Legal Alternative:
► Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as that is part of the job?
► Are you married or do you have a permanent partner?
► With whom do you live?
► How many children do you have?
► Are you pregnant?
► Do you expect to become have a family? When?
► How many children will you have?
► What are your child care arrangements?
First and foremost, avoid reacting in a hostile fashion - remember that you can always decide later to decline the job offer. Your goal during the interview is to try and get the job offer.
Go ahead and answer the question. If you don't feel uncomfortable and you think your answer is in your favor, why worry? Go ahead and answer the question and make no mention that you think its improper or illegal. Just remember that you run the risk of harming your candidacy if you give an answer not favorable to what the interviewer has in mind.
Refuse to answer the question. You are within your rights but in a delicate and sensitive area with regards to the potential job offer. You can say politely that you don't feel comfortable answering the question and ask to move on. You may even want to mention to the interviewer that the question is illegal and doesn't pertain to the job. The key here is to be as tactful as possible. But keep in mind, you may come across as confrontational or not a "team player" in the eyes of the interviewer.
1. How tall are you?
2. Are you a US Citizen?
3. How old are you?
4. Are you really a man?
5. Are you Chinese or Japanese?
6. What religion are you?
7. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
8. Have you ever been arrested?
9. Are you married?
10. How many children do you have?
1. Disabilities & Physical Skills
2. Personal Background
3. Race, Creed, or Color
4. Family & Relationship Items
Before you file a claim for discrimination, you might want to consider that most discrimination is not deliberate. In many cases, the interviewer may simply be ignorant of the law. Even though the interviewer may have ask an illegal question it doesn't necessarily mean that the intent was to discriminate or that a crime has been committed.
► National origin
► Marital/family status