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Victor Sonde @VictorSonde
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THREAD on #smartinterviewanswers

Today’s topic: “Job Interview Answers To The Illegal Question”

Sponsored by @WayMakerLearnUK
Illegal interview questions include any questions about your age number and ages of your children or other dependent; marital status; maiden name; religion; political affiliation; ancestry; national origin; birthplace; naturalization of your parents,etc #smartinterviewanswers
Illegal interview questions also include any questions about your spouse or children, diseases, disabilities, clubs, or spouse’s occupation unless any of the above are directly related to your performance of the job. #smartinterviewanswers
You can not even be asked about previous arrests at a job interview, though you can be asked about past convictions. Under the ever-present threat of lawsuits, most interviewers are well aware of these taboos #smartinterviewanswers
Yet you may encounter, usually on a second or third interview, a senior executive who doesn’t interview much and forgets he can’t ask such questions during a job interview #smartinterviewanswers
Smart Answers: You can handle an illegal question in several ways. First, you can assert your legal right not to answer. But this will frighten or embarrass your interviewer and destroy any rapport you had prior to that moment #smartinterviewanswers
Secondly, you could swallow your concerns over your personal privacy and answer the question straightforwardly if you feel the answer could help you. #smartinterviewanswers
For example, if your interviewer, a devout Baptist, recognises you from church and mentions it. Here, you could gain by talking about your church #smartinterviewanswers
Thirdly, if you do NOT want your personal privacy to be invaded, you can diplomatically answer the interviewer’s concern behind the question without answering the question itself #smartinterviewanswers
For example: If you are over 50 years and are asked, “How old are you?” You can answer with a friendly, smiling question of your own on whether there’s a concern that your age may affect your performance. #smartinterviewanswers
Follow this up by reassuring the interviewer that there is nothing on the job requirements you can not do and, in fact, your age and experience are the most important advantages you offer the employer for the following reasons and then list them.#smartinterviewanswers
Another example: If asked by the interviewer, “Do you plan to have children?” You could answer, “I am wholeheartedly dedicated to my career“, perhaps also by adding, “I have no plans regarding children.” #smartinterviewanswers
PS: You need not fear that you have pledged eternal childlessness. You have every right to change your plans later. Get the job first and then enjoy all your options afterwards #smartinterviewanswers
NOTE: Remember that illegal questions arise from the fear that you would not perform well in the job role. The best answer of all is to get the job & perform brilliantly. All concerns & fears will varnish, replaced by respect and appreciation for your work.#smartinterviewanswers
Much more frequent than the Illegal question is the secret illegal question. It’s secret because it’s asked only in the interviewer’s mind.

Since it’s not even expressed to you, you have no way to respond to it, and it can there be most damaging. #smartinterviewanswers
An example: You’re physically challenged, or a single mother returning to your professional career, or over 50, or a member of an ethnic minority, or fit any of a dozen other categories that do not strictly conform to the majority in a given company #smartinterviewanswers
Your interviewer wonders,

“Is this person really able to handle the job?”

”Is he or she a ‘good fit’ at a place like ours?”

Will the chemistry ever be right with someone like this?”

But the interviewer never raises such questions because they’re illegal.

So what can you do?#smartinterviewanswers
Remember that just because the interviewer doesn’t ask an illegal question does not mean he does not have it.

More than likely, he is going to come up with his own answer. So you might as well help him out

How? Well, you obviously can not respond to an illegal question if they have not even asked. This may well offend the interviewer. There’s always the chance he wasn’t even concerned about the issue until you brought it up, and only then begins to wonder #smartinterviewanswers
You can not address “secret” illegal questions head-on. But what you can do is make sure there’s enough counterbalancing information to more than reassure the interviewer that there’s no problem in the area (s)he may be doubtful about #smartinterviewanswers
E.g. Let's say you are a sales rep who had polio as a child and you need a cane to walk. You know your condition has never impeded your performance, yet you’re concerned that your interviewer may secretly be wondering about your stamina or ability to travel #smartinterviewanswers
Well, make sure that you hit these abilities very hard, leaving no doubt about your capacity to handle them well. The same approach goes for - if you are any different from what passes for “normal” #smartinterviewanswers
Make sure, without in any way seeming defensive about yourself that you mention strengths, accomplishments, preferences and affiliations that strongly counterbalance any unspoken concern your interviewer may have #smartinterviewanswers
Thank you for your time today and see you again next week. Please feel free to RT and share these tips using #smartinterviewanswers. Have a lovely weekend!

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