Illegal Interview Questions - page 3

by TheCommuter Senior Moderator | 9,579 Views | 23 Comments

The interview process can be daunting and downright stressful to some candidates because there are so many questions that the interviewer might ask. However, keep in mind that there are many illegal questions that the interviewer... Read More


  1. 0
    Does this apply to the application you fill out as well? Because every application I fill out asks for criminal background information. One even asked if I had broken ANY law EVER. Which I thought was kind of strange. Even for my CNA clinical portion they did a background check not based on convictions, but based on charges.

    Or is this pertaining to only the actual face to face interview?

    Im sorry if this is a repeat question or posted in the incorrect section. I am very new.
  2. 2
    I like to answer inappropriate questions in a way that immediately puts the subject back onto work-related things AND lets the interviewer know that i know s/he is being inappropriate.

    an actual example from an interview (where i did get the job):

    "where are you from?"
    "New York, blah blah blah small talk about how delightful the city we're currently in is. (at this point i give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's just trying to get a feel for my personality /social skills /conversational style)

    "where are you *really* from?"
    "you mean originally? I'm Italian, and yes I am legally allowed to work in the US." (bringing it back to work-related topics!)

    "oh ok! My husband and I went to Italy last year, it was lovely. I thought maybe you were middle eastern. Couldn't be sure though...so you're not Muslim?"
    "no..."

    "well I guess not, you must be Catholic, right?"
    "I understand what you're trying to ask; you want to make sure I don't have obligations that would prevent me from working weekends. Yes, i am available to work weekends on a regular basis."
    hope3456 and TheCommuter like this.
  3. 0
    Quote from ceccia
    "...I thought maybe you were middle eastern. Couldn't be sure though...so you're not Muslim?"
    Or perhaps the interviewer had a conscious bias against people of Middle Eastern extraction. Since 9/11/01, nothing surprises me anymore.
  4. 1
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Or perhaps the interviewer had a conscious bias against people of Middle Eastern extraction. Since 9/11/01, nothing surprises me anymore.
    yep. i suspect you're right.

    Another time I had an interviewer do the "where are you *really* from?" thing, I feigned confusion for a second and then acted as if i'd had a "lightbulb moment" and the strange personal question made sense now. "you're asking about languages! In addition to being fluent in English, I am comfortable conversing with patients in Italian and French as needed."

    the key to deflecting illegal questions is keeping body language, facial expression, and tone of voice professional and positive. if all those things are on point, you can dodge inappropriate questions like a boss and take control of the conversation.
    Last edit by ceccia on Oct 10
    kalycat likes this.


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