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How to deal with illegal interview questions

The continuing growth of the nation’s economy and the hiring gains this summer point to a bright future, especially when hiring for this year’s holiday season begins. But even with these gains in the marketplace, there are still countless people who may be discriminated against in the hiring process.

Essentially, job candidates may be asked for information that may violate state and federal anti-bias laws. Even more troubling, interviewees may not know that a prospective employer has crossed the line.  For those candidates who actually realize that they are being discriminated against, they may feel as if they are in between a rock and a hard place. They may want the job, but at what cost?

With that, this post will focus on a few improper interview questions and how to deal with them. 

Questions about marital status – Your marital status should not be requirement for the job you’re interviewing for. So it would be improper for an employer to make these inquiries. 

Questions about disabilities or handicaps – Questions about specific disabilities are not allowed, but an employer may ask if you can lift a certain amount of weight or whether a reasonable accommodation is needed to complete the basic functions of the position, but they generally cannot ask about what caused an injury or a medical prognosis.

Questions about family and children – Just like questions about your marital status, a potential employer may not ask about how much your spouse makes, how many children you have or how much you spend on child care.

If you are asked these or similar questions, how you handle them is very important. You can tell the interviewer that you are not comfortable answering such a question or ask how such information is relevant to the position.

Either way, if you believe that the employer made a hiring decision based on illegal interview questions, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.  

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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