If you’ve been pounding the pavement for a while, after a time it feels like you would do anything to get hired. Don’t panic! Keep your cool, know your worth and know your rights. There are a few questions you are under no obligation to answer during the interviewing process. Keep the following seven in mind as you work to find a job path that is right for you!
Sometimes hiring managers can slip some of these questions into your interview. You can side step these with ease and still remain professional with some preparation. Here are some of the most common infractions with some helpful answers.
ARE YOU MARRIED?
This is definitely one of those job interview questions you don’t have to answer. An interviewer cannot ask questions about your marital status. It’s inappropriate. Even though they only ask this question to find out more about your time commitment, whether you’re married or still single, it’s strictly your business.
Diplomatic response: My relationship status is not relevant my job performance, I have a high work ethic and take pride in a job well done.
DO YOU HAVE OR DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE CHILDREN?
Most employers tend to ask this question to find out more about your availability at work. They might want to know if you already have children and if not, if you plan to have them in the near future. This is definitely a discriminatory question and you should not answer it. A lot of studies have shown that some employers might use kids as a determining factor to decide whether to hire a certain candidate or not.
Diplomatic response: Work + life balance is important for every working individual, regardless of personal commitments. I live a great life outside of work but stay focused and dedicated in my professional obligations.
WHAT RELIGION DO YOU PRACTICE?
Some employers might want to find out more about your religion because they just want to learn more about your lifestyle and your schedule outside work. Basically, they just want to get to know you better. Yet you are not obliged to answer this question either, since an employer cannot legally ask anything about your religious background.
Diplomatic response: I’m very private about my personal beliefs but they are not relevant to my work
DO YOU HAVE ANY OUTSTANDING DEBT?
An interviewer should not hold your credit history against your ability to perform at the office. If an employer wants to find out more about your debt, then they have to ask for your permission before they obtain a credit check. What you do with your money does not concern them, unless it affects your productivity or their company.
Diplomatic response: Is my credit history relevant to employment here? If so, can you please explain before I grant permission for you to investigate further?
WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM?
A lot of interviewers might ask you where you are from, especially if you speak with an accent. Yet, you don’t have to answer this question because it’s illegal to ask about an individual’s national origin, even though it may seem like it’s only an innocent question.
Diplomatic response: I am definitely qualified and legally permitted to work with your company and look forward to exploring this opportunity further.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
This is another frequently asked question during an interview that you don’t have to answer. Age discrimination is actually a huge problem nowadays and more and more job seekers are facing it. An employer is not allowed to ask anything about your age, about the year you were born or how long you have been in the workforce.
Diplomatic response: My age has no bearing on my talent and skill. I am confident I can contribute to your team in a collaborative and positive way.
DO YOU ENJOY DRINKING SOCIALLY?
Interviewers are not allowed to ask questions about your drinking habits during a job interview because this question actually violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s also inappropriate to be asked about the last time you used an illegal drug.
Diplomatic response: I make it a priority to keep my social and professional life in balance.
Do you know any other job interview questions you don’t have to answer? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!