Illegal Interview Questions?

19 Nov

So you got all dressed up in your “professional attire”–men in your colorful nooses tied in a knot around your Adam’s apples and women in your itchy nylons that are suffocating your epidermis.  From your rear view mirror you picked the random food from your teeth and got the crud out of the corner of your eye. You took several deep breaths and entered the lobby of what could be your next hell hole. You greet the perky receptionist who actually appears to be happy to see you, a person she’s never met before. You sit nervously wondering where all of these tiny pieces of lint came from, like magic they just appeared right there on the fabric covering your thighs. You covertly pick at the tiny beads of lint, careful not to appear self-absorbed or dirty or OCD or…

“HELLO THERE!” a big hairy hand is extended a mere inch from your forehead.

It’s time for your interview. You follow a tan suit into a back room where you’ll talk about y0ur career in a verbal dance that will involve tiny white lies to questions like “How did you like your previous job?” and “How well do you respond to challenges?” (I cry, don’t you?) A verbal tango of hideous proportions.  But you’ve gotta play the game.  I mean, you need a paycheck. You need eggs and bread and coffee and foot cream. And Hot Pockets.

Well, if your interview consists of ANY of the following questions they could very well be illegal.

Are you able to work overtime, evenings and weekends?

How do you feel about attending conferences with men/women?

What child care arrangements have you made?

What type of position does your spouse have?

This job has always been handled by a female/male. Do you think you can handle it?

What are your computer skills? Would you be interested in doing some word processing? (I know for a fact I’ve been asked this at each and every job interview.)

By the way, would you mind telling me, just how old are you?

How do you respond to authority?

Where were you born?

What’s your nationality?

Are you married, divorced, separated or single?

What holidays do you celebrate?

Do you have any disabilities that affect your work?

According to a 2003 Washington Post article, the aforementioned questions, particularly during a job interview, are potentially illegal.  Hmm. Looks like a lot of companies are breaking the law. Just some food (or litigation) for thought.

This information is covered in the book as well.


One Response to “Illegal Interview Questions?”

  1. The gold digger December 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Are you able to work overtime, evenings and weekends?

    How could this be illegal? OT and weekends/evenings are a requirement for many jobs.

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