New research has revealed that a large percentage of people have been asked an ‘off-limits’ question during an interview process.
The report, conducted by TopCV and CV-Library, surveyed nearly 2,000 professionals, with 73% saying they’d been asked an inappropriate or illegal question in an interview.
The topics respondents were questioned about included:
- Marital status (38%)
- Age (34%)
- Criminal convictions (32%)
- Disability and family planning (25%)
- Place of birth or ethnicity (25%)
- Lifestyle choices, such as Do you smoke? How much do you typically drink? (19%)
- Memberships of affiliations (14%)
- Religion (12%)
- Gender or sexual orientation (11%).
Amanda Augustine, career advice expert at TopCV, commented, “While most interview questions are asked as a genuine way to evaluate a candidate’s ability to do the job, some may steer toward an unprofessional or downright illegal place. When it comes to obtaining personal information, responses could impact their candidacy because of discrimination or bias - regardless if it’s done intentionally.
“For anyone who is unsure, any personal or sensitive information is usually off-limits, unless it is specifically relevant to the job for which you are applying. If you feel uncomfortable answering, don't be afraid to say so.”
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, added, “Interviewing for a new job is a nerve-wracking affair, even for those with years of experience under their belt. While it’s standard practice to be asked questions about previous work experience, as well as personal qualities or skills, in an interview, other questions are less acceptable. This includes anything relating to a candidate’s age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, country of national origin or birthplace, disability or family plans.”
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