As an interviewee, there’s so much you juggle leading into an interview. From researching the position, company, and industry to planning out the outfit that will give you the ultimate sense of confidence, you already have a lot on your mind. However, it’s important to add one more component to the mix, and that’s recognizing which questions can and can’t be asked in an interview.
Having a list of illegal interview questions in your head gives the interviewee more control of how the conversation goes. Certain criteria are off-limits, including age, disability, gender, marital status, race or ethnicity, pregnancy, medical information, religion, or sexual orientation.
Here are 6 questions that are illegal to ask in an interview.
What childcare arrangements will you make for children?
Although the pandemic has had an effect on childcare availability, the question is still off-limits. There’s no reason a potential employer deserves to ask about this because hiring decisions shouldn’t be affected by the answer when done properly. You might think the tie between working from home and childcare is so intertwined in today’s world, but this question is still a no-go.
Do you have any health conditions?
You might think in our pandemic-focused world that this question might make sense for a future employer to ask. It’s not. Anything regarding health conditions or disabilities does not need to be disclosed during the interview process. Now, suppose the position requires a person to lift a certain amount of weight or stand for extended periods of time to perform the responsibilities the job entails. In that case, these specific requirements can be discussed during the interview.
Do you have children learning remotely?
The only reason this question is asked is if you have a nosey hiring manager who is trying to get a better feel for what your limitations would be while working from home. The workforce post-pandemic might make this question seem appropriate, but again, this is covered under the interviewee’s protected information category.
Do you have a partner to help with caregiving?
It doesn’t seem possible that an interviewer would actually go so far as to ask about your spouse or significant other’s contribution to child-rearing or taking care of elderly individuals. Still, some might feel the need to inquire with the pandemic-impacted workforce. Your caregiving responsibilities should not be part of the criteria a potential employer considers during the hiring process.
As a woman, do you feel comfortable managing a team of men?
It’s a valid question to ask a job candidate about their comfortability managing or leading a team, but gender should play no role in it. Jobs are no longer defined as being done by a specific gender, nor does being a male or female make someone better suited to fulfill a position’s needs. Instead, interviewers should ask questions to gauge someone’s dedication or experience when considering the role.
How many kids do you have? Do you plan to have more kids or start a family soon?
These questions might seem harmless, and for the most part, they are, but it still doesn’t mean you, as a job candidate, should answer this question during an interview. Now, one thing to remember is that a question like this might come up in casual conversation. If you are out to lunch with an interviewer and the formal part of the job interview is behind you, a discussion about your kids or family might come up.
During an interview, it’s important to share whatever you feel comfortable in the context of knowing your rights. Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out What do to Following an Interview – At Any Stage.