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Difficult If Not Illegal Job Interview Questions

Dec 24, 2007
Both actual job employment interviews and the whole interview process can be both an intimidating and frustrating affair. First the initial interview, then a second interview, if you are lucky enough to be called back. The second interview can be an group of people from within the organization, the same interviewer as the first time , or another trusted senior member or the firm either from that location or : "head office". Lastly is the third and more senior interview. If you get to the third interview step - that is a good sign that the firm is seriously interested in you or your talents.

The dilemma with the job interview process is always the same. You want the job - that is why you are there. It's not for your health as they say. If you do not answer questions in either the way the answer is wished or required you may not get the job. The question always is "Do you play the game" or "Do you tell the truth". It is a tough call.

On top of that there are a number of questions that employers may ask that if not none of their business are certainly not in good taste and indeed may be illegal. Again it is your choice on how to these questions if indeed to answer them as well. If you are prepared yourself, ahead of the interview session, have thought of your personal boundaries and potential answers or non answers you be in a terribly preferable situation than otherwise.

You may be asked such personal questions such as - Are you married or single? , Do you have any children? , Have you ever been divorced? You can choose to answer or not.

However be aware that according general legislation concerning employment and hiring status, it is not allowed to discriminate on hiring and employment on the basis of marital status or non marital status. Indeed some employers have even asked such personal questions to a woman as "Do you plan to get pregnant?" Again the same rules apply.

Similarly it is against hiring and employment legislation to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, religion and country of origin. This may include such innocuous side questions to reveal this information as "Where were you born" or "What is your native language?" Remember that first and foremost you are there to get the job, not be interrogated. If you are an American citizen you are first a foremost an American. It does not matter where you were born. If you are a temporary resident or in the process of applying for American citizenship all that matters in the end is if you have documentation that authorizes you to work I the United Sates. Interestingly some interviewers may make personal comments on religious holidays and observances to watch your reaction.

Your reaction to such a test may well be that this is not a wise place or environment to work in. Better to look for a job elsewhere down the road or internet connection.

In the same manner similar questions may be asked about alcohol and tobacco use. It must be remembered that both of these products are legal products and are not illegal.

True there may be concerns about the use of these products on the premises or on the job. However off the job or the firm's premises is an entirely different matter. In general no employer can discriminate on hiring on the use of such legal products offsite and off the job.

In the end it all comes down to pre-call planning. Plan your responses to such questions and queries. Know your personal boundaries. Anticipate in your mind how far you will go or not go get that job. In the end all the employer needs to know is that you will do the job well, in an efficient and profitable manner and will be an asset to the firm or organization
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