So Are You Married ? & Other Questions You CAN'T Ask Job Applicants

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    The job interview: Employers are being warned they could fall foul of discrimination laws if they even ask a job applicant their age

    There was a time when managers would get to know prospective staff before taking them on.

    These days, they probe their lifestyles at their peril.
    Employers are being warned they could fall foul of discrimination laws if they even ask a job applicant their age or marital status.
    Many bosses are finding themselves stung by large fines for seeking information about an interviewee which falls outside the strict criteria of their ability to do the job. The consumer organisation Which? has produced a handbook highlighting 'no go' questions for firms that want to stay on the right side of the law

    They include questions about an employee's sexual orientation and religious beliefs.
    Handbook author Sue Tumelty said: "Long gone are the days when a nervous interviewee had to answer all sorts of questions about their lifestyle and their personal views.
    "As employers can't judge a candidate's ability to do the job on their age, sex or religious views, for example, they've no business asking about these things."
    Employment law specialist Brian Palmer said many managers found it difficult to explore the personality of potential staff members in case they were accused of discrimination.


    He said: "In years gone by, people have been keen to establish not only if a new worker could do the job, but also what type of person they are and if they will fit in with their company."
    He warned some employers complained political correctness now meant they had no picture of the person they were trying to hire.
    A recent survey found more than a quarter of workers had been the victim of some form of discrimination during their careers.
    The number of employment tribunals is on the increase with 15 per cent more actions last year than the previous 12 months.
    Separate research has highlighted that employers need to be wary of applicants who mask their true personalities at interview.
    A poll of 1,000 workers found half admitted adopting a false persona in order to impress or 'fit in' with the company.
    However, the study also found that bosses often conceal their real nature during interviews.

    Richard McHenry, of business psychology experts OPP, who carried out the research, said it underlined why so many businesses were supplementing interviews with psychometric tests and other assessments.
    "On the one hand, you have half of all interview candidates pretending to be something they're not. On the other, half of all interviewers are also concealing their real personalities.
    "It's no wonder that recruitment and selection practitioners recommend not relying on interview alone.":yes:

    By Liz Hull
  2. Gosh, thats great to know.

    I lost count of times, during interviews whilst in my 20's that I was asked, when I was planning on having a baby. It is an outrageous thing to ask anybody, so its great that these rules have come in, imo. I think you can still find out alot about a person without asking about their homelife, as that is not relevant to how you can do your job :smile:
  3. Great info!
  4. You know, they can't ask, but it doesn't take a genius to put it together where you are in your "life" - just married? have kids? Single? They may not ask it, but if a woman walks in and she has a wedding ring on her finger and looks to be mid twenties, what are the chances that she's going to have kids in the next five years? Compare that to a woman with a wedding ring and looks to be 40 - you would conclude she's probably already had her kids.

    They could be WAY off, but there are statistics of who does what and at about what ages.
  5. wow. it amazes me that some of you have experienced these questions first hand during an interview. thus far, i have yet encountered an employer asking me anything outside my work ethic/experience.
  6. Heehee...instead of being interviewed for my profession, I swore to do mine :roflmfao::roflmfao:
  7. :yes: ITA! I guess times have really changed because I would have felt insulted if any of those questions were asked in any of my job interviews!
  8. It depends on each country's employment laws. In the US, asking such personal questions, such as the examples given, that are not relevant to the job requirements are illegal and the employer opens itself wide open to lawsuit potentials if an applicant is asked these questions.

    I live in the US but work with corporate hiring in many countries in Asia. In some of the countries, asking such personal questions is legal, acceptable, and expected by applicants.
  9. There are always ways around the age thing. For instance, I filled out a few applications where they asked for my year of high school/college graduation. Since I haven't graduated college yet I only put that I graduated from high school in 2007. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how old I am just from that.
  10. They still ask or try to...

    So have any of you been asked these questions? What would you respond?
  11. I interviewed with an attorney once who asked me my age, if I lived alone or whatever, if I had kids, if I was married, etc. You'd think he'd have known he shouldn't do that! What a dumbass.
  12. My friend was hired at my org. in 2005 and found out she was pregnant a month after her job offer was made. Instead of expressing congratulations, her boss actually asked if she was planning on keeping the baby!
  13. When I was in my 20's I got asked some bizarre stuff. This was the 80's, laws weren't that strict on interviewing like now.
    When I had interviews last (early to mid 90's,) I always told them I wasn't married & didn't have children nor did I plan on having kids. I was usually offered the job.
    Why would I hide something that employers find as a positive? They aren't suppose to ask. No law against me offering.
  14. I still get asked if I'm planning on starting a family, married and age in interviews.

    At my previous job, my former boss asked me, "How long are you going to work here. I only want to hire people that are going to stay here forever. I'd like someone to be here for at least twenty or thirty years."
  15. As equally horrifying as the questions they used to be allowed to ask is that big companies (Like Boeing, Hughes, etc) used to do very complete pre-employment physicals, including a pelvic exam yes, you read it here!