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Five Questions You Have the Right Not to Answer in a Job Interview

Posted on in Employment

San Jose employment law attorneys, job interview questions, job discrimination, California employment law, age discriminationIf you have been out of work or looking to change jobs or career fields, receiving a call back for an interview by a potential employer is exciting news. How you answer certain interview questions can differentiate you from other job candidates and will ultimately play a role in any hiring decisions; therefore, it is natural to want to spend some time brushing up on the common topics that are likely to be discussed. Be aware, however, that employment laws do prohibit employers from asking certain types of questions in interviews. In addition to having the right not to answer, these questions could open the potential employer up to liability in a claim.

Questions that Are Illegal to Ask in a Job Interview

In a competitive job market, employers are apt to be thorough in asking questions during a job interview. The goal is to narrow down the list of possible candidates and should focus on job qualifications. There are several factors which could influence a particular employees job performance and Monster.com advises that employers do have plenty of flexibility in terms of the topics discussed. However, there are certain types of questions that should not be asked, which could qualify as illegal under state or federal laws.

The following are among the most common of these you are likely to encounter:

  1. Questions about your age: Employers may ask you if you are over the age of 18 but are prohibited from discussing your exact age or how it may influence your ability to perform tasks on the job.

  2. Questions about your family: Questions about whether you are married, have children, or are in a relationship are generally irrelevant in a job interview and could be considered discriminatory, particularly if they factor in hiring decisions.

  3. Questions about criminal background: A potential employer may ask if you would be able to pass a criminal background check, but is prohibited from requesting specific details from you regarding past offenses. If you fail to pass a background check, you must be provided with the information that factored into making this decision.

  4. Questions about physical fitness: The employer may outline duties and ask if you would be able to physically perform tasks associated with the job. However, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) does prevent employers from discriminating against those with disabilities in interviews and in making hiring decisions.

  5. Questions about immigration or citizenship status: While a potential employer is entitled to know whether an interview subject is authorized to work in the United States, questions about ethnic background and immigration in general can be viewed as discriminatory.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have reason to believe you were discriminated against in a job interview or at any point in the hiring process, our skilled San Jose employment law attorneys can help defend your rights. Contact Jachimowicz Law Group to request a consultation. We can provide the legal guidance and represent you need to defend yourself, so you can hold employers accountable for their actions.

Sources:

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/people-with-disabilities/

https://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/small-business/conducting-an-interview/common-interview-questions.aspx

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