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Improper interview questions and how to deal with them

As the job market steadily improves, discrimination still exists in the hiring process. It is not uncommon for employers to ask questions that either violates state and federal employment laws or gives rise to an employment discrimination claim. Indeed, some questions could be asked out of ignorance, but they can put job candidates in a difficult situation. After all, job candidates are trying to make a good first impression and genuinely want the job.

That being said, it is important for job candidates to know what questions are improper and how to deal with them. This post will provide a few tips.

Questions about disabilities –Questions by employers to job applicants about their disabilities are generally not allowed, except for inquiries about the ability to perform essential functions of the job; such as questions about accommodations for “open and obvious” disabilities.

Questions about family and children – A potential employer’s questions about family and children may be inappropriate because it may foster bias regarding a candidate’s availability.

Questions about marital status – Similarly, specific inquiries about a candidate’s marital status may give rise to a gender discrimination claim.

Being asked seemingly discriminatory questions may be frustrating, but how should you respond? After all, telling the interviewer his or her questions are is illegal and discriminatory may not make you look like a “team player.” But at the same time, you don’t want to be treated unfairly even before you’re hired.

Because of this, it may be better to tell the interviewer in a diplomatic fashion that you are uncomfortable answering the question. Nevertheless, if you are ultimately not hired and you believe it was because of your refusal to answer inappropriate questions, you should consult an experienced employment attorney.


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