When you walk into a job interview, whether for a new position or for a potential promotion, you may find yourself asked an unexpected question. These out-of-the-box questions may allow employers to learn more about how you solve problems, your approach to working with others on the job and your long-term career aspirations. However, some of these unexpected questions may cross a line.
What questions might be a form of discrimination?
Do you plan on having children?
While this may seem like an interviewer is attempting to build a personal connection, it can also be a sign that they will factor your intent to have children into their hiring choice. Even if you don’t plan to build your family now, employers that base a hiring choice on the idea that an employee may become pregnant in the future are acting on a form of pregnancy discrimination.
What religious holidays do you observe? Do you go to church?
While most employers want to know about your availability and schedule, asking directly about your religious practices could lead to unfair treatment. Employers may base their hiring decision on your religious beliefs rather than your actual availability.
Are you a U.S. citizen?
While employers will need documentation that an applicant is authorized to work in the country or about the languages they speak, they cannot focus specifically on an applicant’s citizenship. This can be a subtle indicator that the interviewer will make decisions in part about an applicant’s national origin.
If an interviewer asked these or other unfair questions in your job interview, you may want to speak to an attorney about your legal options.