Illegal questions on a job interview

When I go on job interviews I’m usually asked three questions

What have you been doing since your last job?

Tell me about yourself?

How do you handle work stress?

Some times I get really stupid people that don’t even know what kinds of questions to ask on a job interview, such as

“Do you have any kids?” or “We start our shift at 5am, you don’t have kids do you?” “Are you married?”  “Do you have any doctors appointments coming up in the next few days?” and “How old are you?” All of them are ILLEGAL to ask any person on a job interview. It is not a date where you go out to dinner with someone and you’d like to know if the person has children and if they have something in common with you (such as your age bracket).

I was just asked how old I was on an interview on May 20th from a man named David M. (recruiter) at a employment agency in Corona. Then he had the balls to ask me if I had any doctors appointments in the next few days.  Once I heard the “age” question I had this big flashing “BEWARE” sign in my mind.

I answered his question since I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I knew it was illegal for him to ask me that question.  I didn’t want to make any waves.  The thing was he said it like it was butter off of his lips like he was at a bar and he wanted to date me . .. “How old are you?”.   I told him “I’ll be 40 later this year”.   He smiled  at me as if I was his date for lunch and said effortlessly  “I”m 25”, then he said “I’m new on my job too, I’ve only been here for 3 weeks”

Let me say this now to anyone reading this. YOU DON’T ASK PERSONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT AGE OR FAMILY or DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS  or SEXUAL ORIENTATION on a job interview.  IT IS ILLEGAL! You can ask “What qualifies you for this position?” or “What types of jobs have you had in the past?” Or “What skill set do you have that relates to this position?” You can even ask “What hours are you available?” and you can ask “This position is swing shift, so our vendor needs someone from 3 – 11pm. Can you work those hours?”  But asking if you have kids, a wife/husband/if you have any sick children at home/if you have doctors appointments – is illegal.

Most employers understand that people have doctors appointments at sometime during the year. Employers have their own doctors appointments – some also have to go back every 3-4 months if they have a special health condition that needs a blood test once every 4 months.  Employers also know that it usually would take 1/2 of an 8 hour shift to do everything at a doctor’s office including driving to/from the office, waiting room time and seeing the doctor – for a total of 3 or 4 hours lost from the job.

I’ve come into contact with employers that have said to other people “oh, you have a doctor’s appointment! It isn’t going to take all day is it?” To me, the way they say it is down right rude. I’ve never had a doctor’s appointment that lasted all day long. And if I was a boss or manager, if I knew someone that had to take a day off due to an appointment being at 11am, depending on where the worker lives – I may ask them to not come in that day.  I get it. Life happens and everyone has doctors appointments from time to time. They don’t happen every month.  I understand that if an appointment is at 11am, check in time may be 10:30am and one may need to leave at 10am.  If the doctors office is busy, the person may not see anyone until 2pm and may be done by 3pm.  Well, if that person works until 5pm – what just happened to the work day?  By asking a question and saying it “You are not going to be gone all day long are you?”  Is acting like the person is not responsible and it just so happens that – the appointment was made 3 weeks ago and NOW the employer wants this person to start on the exact day you have an appointment. The key is to be understanding.  I have seem less and less people be understanding when it comes to things of this nature.  It makes me wonder – are these bosses human at all?  What would a manager do if their boss said “Are you going to be out for the entire day Tom?”

If you are a recruiter, please do yourself a favor, Read up on  Human Resources laws. Oh and I just found out today that this David M that was working for this employment agency, well as of around Friday May 29th, he doesn’t work their anymore.  Perhaps he got hired for asking an illegal question to another applicant?



One thought on “Illegal questions on a job interview

Comments are closed.