Imagine you're in a job interview. Of course, you want to impress your interviewer and get the job.

But could the interviewer ask you about everything? Should you answer all questions the interviewer asks?

A man pointing at his head.

What are inappropriate questions in a job interview?

You don't have to answer the questions about:

Race, place of origin, or ethnic origin


Sexual orientation


Marital and family status


Financial situation

Fonzie from Happy Days says,

But sometimes, these questions can be asked according to the job position requirements. For example, you need to be healthy to be a firefighter.


You're in a job interview for the pilot position. Which of the following questions are inappropriate?

So, how to answer inappropriate questions?

  1. You can refuse to answer and ask to go on to the next question.

I prefer to keep my professional and personal lives separate. Let's talk about the position.

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  1. You can use the question to your advantage. For example, you have an accent and an interviewer asks you about your origins. You can answer that you're from another country and emphasize your international job experience.

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  1. You can tell the truth about your age, background, and your relationships, since employers can check your profiles on social networks before hiring you anyway.

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But when answering inappropriate questions, consider if you really want to work in a company that doesn't respect ethics and the law.


You are in a job interview. Suddenly, the interviewer asks you:

Well. I see an engagement ring on your hand. Are you going to get married? Congratulations!

How should you answer this question?


I prefer to focus on my professional qualifications and how they align with the requirements of the job. Let's go on to the next question.


I think it's none of your business. What is the next question?


I prefer to keep my personal life private. Let's discuss how my professional skills and experiences align with the needs of the company.


Thank you for your congratulations. Let's focus on discussing how my skills can benefit the company.


In the scenario above, what are the best responses?

Take Action

Employers should know that asking you about race, place of origin, or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital and family status, disability, and financial situation is illegal. But they might ask anyway, and you should be prepared.

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