Photo: DaveFayram via flickr
We recently revealed some illegal interview questions that you should look out for, but what should you do if you’re asked any one of those questions?If you do answer, there’s a chance you’d be discriminated against, but if you decline to answer, there’s also a good chance you won’t get hired.
Sounds like a lose-lose situation.
Ellen B. Vance, senior consultant for Titan Group, a human-resource firm, told Lisa Vaas at theLadders that the best thing to do is strategically redirect the questions back to the interviewer. For example, if you’ve been asked if you have children, ask the interviewer, “Family seems important to you, do you have any children?”
“By redirecting, the applicant is not placed in the situation of being perceived as adversarial,” Vance said.
A lot of time, interviewers don’t even know that they’re asking inappropriate questions. Sometimes, they are just trying to make conversation or get the internal statistics information they need. In these scenarios, it’s acceptable to bring up the inappropriateness of the question.
“It happens more than they would like you to think,” Justin Hirsch president of Job Plex, an executive search firm, told Kathryn Tuggle at FOXBusiness. “Human resource leaders are typically more careful and more straightforward, but other executives in the company may ask something unscripted that’s just on the top of their mind.”
However, if the interviewer continues to ask, then Vance says you should then ask the interviewer why the question is related to the position you’re applying for.
Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite told FOXBusiness that candidates shouldn’t be “afraid to say, ‘Help me understand why this matters, because I want to better understand the job I’m interviewing for.’ “
This will likely push the interviewer to catching their own mistake before the mood gets too awkward.
Whatever you do, be smooth about it. Don’t get all uptight or you definitely won’t be getting the job.
“You’ve got to remain unemotional when inappropriate questions come your way,” Hirsch said. “You don’t want to be elusive, and you don’t want to get emotional because that can turn an interview sideways and be a deal breaker.”
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