What to Do If an Employer Asks Off-Limit Questions in an Interview

What to Do If an Employer Asks Off-Limit Questions in an Interview |Jobaap

Job interviews are stressful for both the interviewer and interviewee. Hiring managers must ask suitable questions, while applicants must explain relevant answers.

However, while applicants might feel the most pressure, interviewers should be just as careful with their words. Certain questions have been deemed illegal in some or all states, including questions about previous salary and holiday. According to a new job seekers poll, 80 percent of job seekers say they've been asked these probably delicate questions in interviews.

Keep in mind that some interviewers haven't been properly trained and may ask off-limits questions without understanding, career expert for Jobaap. However, being asked these questions can still feel intimidating and uncomfortable. Here's how to handle illegal or inappropriate questions from hiring managers.


It might seem like the interviewer has all the power. After all, they are the ones making the decision about your future employment at the company. But candidates still have a say in the interview process.

If an interviewer asks an off-limit question, try to identify their concerns and steer the conversation to address them, said AUROJYOTI PATTNAIK, career advice expert for job seekers.

"Candidates should always remember that they are interviewing the employer as much as they are being interviewed". You certainly have the right and power to steer the conversation in the direction you'd like and to shut down anything that feels inappropriate and irrelevant.

For case, if they ask about your past salary, push back by asking what the range is for this new position. 

"The discussion should feel like a ping-pong match – lightly lob it back into their side of the court”.


Be honest

There's no harm in telling an interviewer that you feel embarrassed answering a question or adhering to a request. For case, if they want to photocopy your license, you can say that you prefer to hold off on that type of paperwork until a job offer has been extended, as you're concerned about identity theft.

If you flat-out refuse to answer, it may seem like you're belligerent. Honesty is better than rejection; you can say that you'd rather not disclose the information, noting that you technically don't have to. Stand up against unfair probing.

The good news is that interviewers and employers who ask off-limits questions don't get off scot-free. There can be consequences to their actions that could affect their interviewing and hiring in the future.

The main cost is losing candidates. Most workers wouldn't accept a position with a company that investigates into improper matters.

"If they're clearly crossing the line now, what would happen once you're working for them”? This is an appropriate time to professionally withdraw your candidature and pursue other employers who are in fact appropriate.

He added that a bad reputation is another consequence. "Word will get out that they're inappropriate, and they'll have an even more difficult time filling those roles."


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