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Job Interview Red Flags

If you’re currently job searching, or in the process of interviewing for a position, you’ve probably done some research on how to answer interview questions and impress your interviewers. However, there are instances where interviewers may ask questions that seemingly have nothing to do with your job performance or achievements, and which might make you say “Wait, what?” Not all employers are good ones – so if you hear any of these questions in a job interview… run the other way!

Do you have kids?

Even though it may seem like innocent small talk, this question is labeled as discriminatory by many U.S. states. Some employers may use your children as a reason not to hire you, as they would prefer employees who can be more “dedicated” to the company – i.e. those who won’t put their kids before their job. If you’re asked this question, gently steer the conversation back to talking about your experience or skills.

Are you married?

Once again, this question may seem friendly, but it can actually lead to some unsavory business practices. Hiring based on marital status is always discriminatory!

How old are you?

Age doesn’t have anything to do with how good you are at your job and shouldn’t be a concern for a reputable employer. This is different than work experience – asking questions about how long you’ve been working is a-okay.

What’s your race/ethnicity?

This should be obvious, but hiring based on race or ethnicity is not okay. If your interviewer asks for your racial background, birthplace, or ethnicity, get out of there!

What’s your sexual orientation?

Again, this one should be obvious – but if you don’t know, this question is discriminatory! Your job has nothing to do with your sexual orientation, so it’s not something your employers need to know before hiring you (or ever, if it’s not something you want to share with coworkers!)

Are you pregnant?

Not only is this question incredibly rude to ask anyone at any point, it’s also sometimes used by employers because they don’t want to handle maternity leave. Get out while you can!

How much do you make at your current job?

To some, this question may seem like a valid one – maybe they want to offer you more than you make right now as a larger incentive! However, if the range they’re offering is way more than what you currently make, it also gives them a reason to lowball you. If you’re asked this, you can steer away from the question by asking what range they’ll be offering for the position, or by letting them know that you would prefer that your salary be offered based on your skills and experience, not your current pay.

We hope these have helped you avoid those companies that might not be pleasant to work at – happy interviewing! And if you need some help with questions you should answer, you can find that here.


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