Illegal Interviewing Questions
One thing that Veteran employment seekers should try to remember is that employers, recruiters and hiring managers are people too. They make mistakes and they occasionally break rules. Veterans should know that even though they may rely on an interview to get hired, there are some questions that are not legal for interviewers to ask.
Illegal questions can vary, and include asking about your age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual preference, marital status, disabilities, criminal record, and military status.
Most often, interviewers ask these questions without realizing that what they’re doing is illegal. But whether innocent or intentional, pointing out the legality of their questioning or refusing to answer a question could cost you the job. And while it would again be illegal to not hire someone under those circumstances, it would be hard to prove the illegal action to a court. However, you could file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Employment seekers need to evaluate the situation and decide how to proceed. If you take no issue with divulging the answer to the interviewer’s question, then go ahead and answer the question, honestly. A lot of employment seekers see no harm in saying that they are an American citizen or that they have never been arrested.
But if these illegal interview questions may hinder you gaining employment, then you are within their right to politely point out that the question is not relevant for the position. For example, if an interviewer asks about your religion, you could politely answer:
“I don’t see how that pertains to the position with this company. With that said, I am honest and moral and believe in always doing the right thing.”
If a deflection is done tactfully, it should not deter the interviewer from hiring you.
In the end, the Veteran employment seeker should consider if they even want to work for somebody who is going to break the law on their very first interaction. It could be the warning signs of a dangerous pattern that could develop should you choose to work for this employer.