Responding to Taboo Questions

Responding to Taboo Questions

Not all interview questions are acceptable. Certain topics should not be 

brought up and information that a potential employer has no right to ask for. Some of 

these questions are not legal and others while legal may leave you feeling uncomfortable.  

You do not have to answer certain questions, but how you let the interviewer know this 

can determine if your application will continue forward.

For more information on questions that should not be asked or that you do not have to 

the answer, contact your local government office that handles labor relations. They can 

provide these guidelines to you at no charge. If questions are being asked about your 

private life (and you are uncomfortable answering them), you do not have to. You can 

mildly tell the interviewer that you plan on devoting the time you spend at work to work 

and your personal life stays in your personal life. And try to leave it at that. If the 

the interviewer keeps pressing, you will have to decide if the job is worth it to you. 

You decide to provide the information you do – know your rights beforehand – but 

you can still decide to answer a question that should not be asked. Keep in mind that if a 

a potential employer wants details about how you spend time outside of work it may be 

because they expect their employees to put in a lot of extra hours and they are trying to 

gauge if you have commitments that would prevent you from doing this.

Other questions, such as sexual orientation, past relationships, and other lifestyle choices 

have no business in an interview setting. If there is a physical aspect to the job and a 

medical evaluation is necessary, this is typically done by a doctor or other medical 

professional who will give you clearance. You do not have to provide details to the 


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