Questions that employers must not ask during a job interview

Job Seeking

Questions that employers must not ask during a job interview

There are some topics that should not be discussed during the job interview. Topics such as religion, sexual orientation, nationality, race, political beliefs and other very personal topics should not be the subject of interest of your prospective employer. The reason for this is to protect candidates from discrimination.

Discrimination is unequal treatment of a person because of their personal attribute, which results in inequality in their exercise of rights. Due to personal views and beliefs of an interviewer, candidates may be discriminated based on information that is not related to their knowledge and abilities for the job.

In addition to the topics previously mentioned, issues related to housing and family status are not welcome on the job interview because they are not relevant to the selection process.

Also, questions about marital status, children and pregnancy are not a suitable topic for job interviews.

Another topic that is very sensitive and that your prospective employer should not be aware of is your current salary. Your salary is a matter that should be kept confidential and solely between you and your employer. During a job interview, instead of sharing your current earnings information, talk about your expected salary.

However, before you conclude that a question has been asked with an intention to discriminate you on a personal basis, try to make sure of the interviewer’s intent. It can sometimes be that a person on the other side of a table is inexperienced or even unaware of the discriminatory nature of the questions they ask. People involved in the selection of employees should be aware of the processes and procedures of the selection process, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Also, what can be a discriminatory issue for one job may not be for another profession. For example, a question of whether you are a smoker or not is not as relevant for the job of a programmer as it is for the babysitting job.

General Data Protection Regulation (also known as GDPR) prohibits collection and processing of personal data that is not relevant for the business of the company, in this case, the selection process – so be careful not to give too personal statements in the pre-selection questionnaires.

If you find that there is no discriminatory intent behind the question or that the question is asked inadvertently, politely give a brief answer and navigate the topic toward your previous work achievements and other accomplishments that qualify you for the job.

If, however, you happen to be unjustifiably asked a question that does not relate to your work experience and skills, try to subtly point out to the recruiter that some other things are more relevant for the job itself. Remember that you are also in a position to choose, so be free to judge whether you want to work in such a work environment based on the questions and the entire interviewing experience.