What to do when interviewers break the law

December 3rd, 2009 How do I navigate  sticky interview questions, including illegal ones?– Eduardo


December 3rd, 2009


How do I navigate  sticky interview questions, including illegal ones?
– Eduardo

The gut reaction in an interview is a feeling like you’ve got to placate your interviewed to stand a chance to getting the job.  But here’s what I got to say about interviewing.

If successful in landing the job, you are going to be spending most of your waking life with the people you’re interviewing with.  Make sure this interview goes both ways. You’re interviewing them as well.  Show healthy respect for yourself instead of being submissive and placating.

They may not even know a question they’re asking is illegal.  You can help them by saying something like the following:

  • “What is it you’re trying to determine with that question?”
  • “I’d love to answer if there’s a way you could rephrase it” or something like this to help them understand that they need to get on better legal footing
  • “I’m uncomfortable answering that question.”

Remember you’re not asking for a hand out, you’re offering your skills to a new employer.  Treat yourself like the valuable resource you are!


About the author

Leaders rely on Michelle as an ally because she understands their world like no other consultant. Her clients call her their liferaft, because they have otherwise felt alone in a sea of people. As a senior executive, she was personally responsible for multimillion-dollar revenues; pioneered green business practices; and launched a breakthrough tablet device ten years before Apple introduced the iPad. Through her singular ability to recognize individual potential and bring it to fruition, Michelle’s clients include executives and their teams at Global Fortune 500s, high-potential companies, and non-profits, as well as members of the U.S