You may find an employer asking you an illegal question in an interview. These questions may ask you to reveal your age, race, national origin, citizenship, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, or arrest record. Knowing how to identify and respond effectively to these questions is important.

Sample Illegal Questions

  • How old are you?
  • What are your religious beliefs?
  • What is your ancestry, national origin, or birth place?
  • What is your native language?
  • Are you single, married, divorced, or widowed?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • What is your sexual orientation?
  • Are your parents citizens?
  • Do you have any children and/or are you planning on having more?

When These Questions Are Acceptable

Depending on the requirements of the job, variations of the above questions may be asked and are legal. After you are hired, some of these questions will be asked to enroll you in the employer’s benefits plans. Check out this article to learn more.

How to Handle Illegal Interview Questions

You may choose to answer illegal questions if you are comfortable doing so. It is not illegal if you do. If you are not comfortable, you can respond with “I do not feel that is relevant to the position or interview”. You can also answer the question by addressing the concerns behind the questions. Here are some examples:

  • What is your national origin or place of birth? “I am authorized to work in the US.”

  • Do you have any disabilities? “I have no issues that would keep me from effectively carrying out this job.”