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Illegal Interview Questions

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Interviews are always uncomfortable. But what questions are illegal?

A candidate at a job interview in Indiana must have known it wasn’t going as planned when her interviewer asked the question, “Why is a pretty girl like you divorced?” She didn’t say: Why’s a stupid guy like you the one deciding whether I should be hired?

But the question all applicants and interviwers want to know: what questions are illegal in an interview?

Unfortunately, there is no list of questions that are illegal. Instead, you need to know that the law prohibits discrimination. So an interviewer can ask whatever he wants – he just can’t use information about your race, gender, age, religion, or national origin against you when deciding whether or not to hire you.

You don’t have to answer questions if they make you uncomfortable, but your job in an interview is to get hired. So answer questions that you feel are appropriate, and for those that make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to start a battle but instead handle them with humor: “I’m divorced because I didn’t meet a nice guy like you who would judge me on my ability rather than my face,” for example.

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