There are some questions and some topics that should be off-limits during an interview and some of them are even illegal. But, it is not common for inexperienced and even sneaky interviewers to throw one of the trickiest questions at you. They do so to check what the candidates are capable of and if you pass, you have the opportunity to give the job your best shot.
Take a look at the following interview questions that you should never answer and what you should say instead:
- How Old Are You?
It is illegal for a recruiter to discriminate against a candidate on the basis of age, and when you answer this truthfully, you are offering the recruiter a fodder for age discrimination. When asked, simply inform the interviewer that you are above legal working age and that you are capable to perform well when it comes to the work related responsibilities.
- Are You Married?
The interviewer may ask you if you have had a professional name change but asking you whether you are married or plan to get married in the future is a total no-no. Simply inform your interviewer whether or not you have any personal commitments that may affect your ability to work.Make sure that you are not being too generous by providing them too much information.
- How Many Children Do You Have?
This is another question that should be off-limits. Like the previous question, simply assure your interviewer that you have no personal commitments that may affect your ability to do the job. Do note that you may be asked this question after a job offer has been made if the company plans on offering family insurance benefits. In such a case, you are required to answer this question honestly and not hide the number of children you have, no matter how many.
- What Religion Do You Follow?
As with age, discrimination on the basis of religion is also illegal. If asked, try to figure out the employer’s concerns and answer the question in a way that addresses the concern. For example, if you are interviewing at a restaurant, the interviewer may be trying to determine your stance towards alcohol. You can let them know whether or not you have any issues.
- Where Do You Live?
Your recruiter may be trying to figure out whether you can report to work at a certain time or not. Simply assure them of your ability to do so. When pressed, you can simply give a vague answer such as “close by”.
- Do You Smoke, Drink Or Do Drugs?
Your interviewer may simply be trying to judge how responsible you are. Just let them know your personal habits and that your indulgences will not interfere with your on the job performance.
- What Is Your Nationality?
This too is another illegal question. If you are asked, you are merely required to inform your interviewer whether or not you are legally able to work in the country or state; there is nothing much that they should know.
- Any Questions Regarding Political Affiliations
When asked, try to determine the intent behind the question and answer accordingly without actually revealing your political leanings.
As a general rule, if you are asked any of these questions, try to keep it light and friendly at all times. Often the interviewer may only be trying to make conversation and it is likely that they are either inexperienced or unfamiliar with the law. There is, therefore, no need for you to lose your cool.
Lara Pole works at dissertation corp as a media manager. She’s also a blog enthusiast with a core specialty in topics like career, job interview, etc.