None of their business

These questions have no place in an interview

You’re probably like most job hunters. You know that if a prospective employer seems more interested in your personal life than in your qualifications for the job, it’s time to move on with your search. But what are your chances of actually being asked to disclose your personal information? The answer may surprise you.

According to a survey conducted by New York-based Bernard Haldane Associates, the nation’s oldest career management organization, more than one-third of job applicants have been asked an illegal interview question pertaining to race, age, marital status, religion or ethnic background.

“Job seekers should always be conscious of supplying personal information of this sort during the interview process,” says Jerry Weinger, chairman of Bernard Haldane. “They should also be aware of legitimate questions that are designed to reveal potentially discriminatory information.”

Employment interviews are supposed to determine whether or not a candidate can do the job being offered-nothing more. You’ll want to know what an interviewer can and cannot ask by law before you sit down in their office.

Take the following quiz to rate your current awareness; check which of the 20 interview questions are legal (Y) or illegal (N). Answers are below:
1. Where were you born? (Y) (N)
2. Why did you leave your previous employer? (Y) (N)
3. What kind of things do you do when you’re not at work? (Y) (N)
4. Did you pay for insurance coverage at your previous company? (Y) (N)
5. Have your wages ever been garnished? If so, why? (Y) (N)
6. Are you currently married? (Y) (N)
7. Do you currently have trouble with drug or alcohol abuse? (Y) (N)
8. Are you satisfied with the progress of your career? (Y) (N)
9. What have been your most significant accomplishments since joining your present company? (Y) (N)
10. Where do you see yourself over the next five years? (Y) (N)
11. What is your birth date? (Y) (N)
12. Do you have any physical limitations? (Y) (N)
13. What are the ages of your children? Who takes care of them for you? (Y) (N)
14. What did you like/dislike about your previous position? (Y) (N)
15. How long have you lived at your present address? (Y) (N)
16. Who lives in your household? (Y) (N)
17. How well did you get along with your previous manager? (Y) (N)
18. What is your current compensation? (Y) (N)
19. How frequently did you get salary increases? (Y) (N)
20. Have you ever been arrested? (Y) (N)

Answers: 1-N; 2-Y; 3-N; 4-Y; 5-N; 6-N; 7-N; 8-Y; 9-Y; 10-Y; 11-N; 12-N; 13-N; 14-Y; 15-N; 16-N; 17-Y; 18-Y; 19-Y; 20-N.

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