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