4 Illegal Interview Questions & How to Handle Them…Professionally

You’re all dressed up, you’ve made it to the interview round and now there’s just one more hurdle: the questions. While some are perfectly legit, others could get you into trouble. Here are four illegal interview questions and how to respond if they come up. (Hint: It’s all about staying professional.)

Looking for a job is hard enough as it is, without running into potential roadblocks along the way – which is why knowing what illegal interview questions to watch out for is key. With that in mind, here are four of the most common ones to watch out for – along with tips on how to handle them like a pro.

So, what exactly are illegal interview questions? They are any questions that related to protected characteristics, such as race, religion, national origin, gender, age, or disability. Asking these types of questions is not only unethical – it’s also against the law.

ILLEGAL INTERVIEW QUESTION #1 – HOW OLD ARE YOU?

ILLEGAL INTERVIEW QUESTION #2 – WHAT IS YOUR SALARY HISTORY?

ILLEGAL INTERVIEW QUESTION #3 – DO YOU OWN A CAR?

ILLEGAL INTERVIEW QUESTION #4 – HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ARRESTED BEFORE?

Illegal interview questions are, unfortunately, more common than you might think. In fact, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that nearly 60% of employers have asked at least one illegal question during a job interview. The Fair Labor Standards Act Laws (FLSA) prohibit all types of discrimination based on gender, race and other specified protected classes. To obtain more details, click here.

Fortunately, there are ways to handle illegal interview questions professionally. If you’re ever put in this situation, here’s what you should do:

1. Thank the interviewer for their time and say that you’re not comfortable answering the question because they may be illegal based on FLSA practices.
2. Always start of with the question, “how is this question relevant to the job?“.
3. Respond with a general answer that doesn’t provide any specific information about your protected characteristic. For example, if you’re asked about your religion, you could say that you respect all religions and believe that everyone has the right to practice their own faith.
4. Redirect the conversation back to your qualifications for the job.
5. If the interviewer persists, politely end the interview and contact an attorney or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for consultation.

Although you can never be too prepared for an interview, having a general understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate to ask will help ease your mind. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being asked an illegal questions, don’t panic. Stay calm and collected and remember that it is more important to maintain professionalism than to jeopardize your career. Finally, if you need additional help or have any questions about how to handle a difficult interview situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. I would be happy to offer my assistance!

Looking for other services such as interview coaching, LinkedIn profile optimization and career strategy consultations? Go here.

If you are looking for help in the overall job market, interview tips and more, purchase my new book here.

Connect with me here
Follow me here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Join my Facebook group

2 Things to do…Before, During and After the Job Interviews

If you are applying for new jobs and getting interviews, then know you are doing something right. Your career tools are working for you. Your resumes and cover letters are getting past the applicant tracking system, also known as ATS into human hands. If your #resumes or #coverletters are not getting you interviews, I have a resources to review them to make sure they are doing their job to market you well and land you interviews. Go check out my resource here.

Ok, so your landing job interviews and the whole process makes you nervous right? I totally understand. I still get nervous when I have business meetings and do interviews, but I also have preparation, strategy and specific goals already established before attending any of those interviews. I want you to be armed and ready to handle those job interviews, like the professional that you are.

In this video, I go over two things you need to do BEFORE THE INTERVIEW…DURING THE INTERVIEW & AFTER THE INTERVIEW to increase your chances of getting the career opportunity/job you want.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW (Do these two (2) things)
1. Ask for all the interviewers full name and titles. You want to be prepared for a panel interview or one-person interview. Bring the appropriate amount of resumes based on the number of interviewers. Thinking about it more, bring some extra copies of your resumes, just in case.

2. Ask about the appropriate the dress code for the interview, if it is in-person. You want to be prepared for what the interviewer may be expect from you.

Looking for additional help with getting ready for your next interview, go here to access the interview audio series to help strategically prepare for your next interview.

DURING THE INTERVIEW (Do these two (2) things)
1. Ask the interviewer this question: What personality type are you looking for to fill this position?
It allows you to obtain information about what type of environment they are looking to create with the person in this position. Please take notes, so you can be prepared to respond positively. This question will also reveal the overall company culture and the mindset of the interviewer responding to it.

2. Ask this other multilayered questions: Did you recently create this position? If not, did you recently loose the employee filling this position due to retirement or termination? If so, what were some of the positive things the last person in the position did right? What were some of the areas that need development that you are hoping to correct with the next candidate?

AFTER THE INTERVIEW (Do these two (2) things)
1. Follow up with the interviewer/employer by writing them a thank you letter sent via email or snail mail. You may also want to send them a handwritten thank you card.

2. Ask about the timelines in them making their decision on the candidate choice. Follow-up with them again via email, if you do not receive a response from them within the timeline they specifically told you.

If you are looking for direct interview coaching where I get industry specific with you and provide proven strategies for you before, during and after the interview, go here.

MentorShelly’s Main Focus

I wanted to make sure the information provided on this channel is helping who it was intended to help and focus on the important aspects of #career development #interview coaching and maintaining your #career journey with a #success mindset.

The goal is to help you soar in your career whether you are starting out from high school, college or trade school, on your entrepreneurial journey or changing careers.

For those who desire to live your DREAM Career but have no idea how and where you should begin? You can start by taking advantage of my FREE DREAM Career Guide by going here.

As a Career Coach, I offer of services and products to serve your career and interview needs by going here.

If you have general career development, interview and job search questions, requests or discussion points, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW or go HERE.