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Office Politics & Commonly Asked Illegal Interview Questions

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on October 17, 2014

I love this time of year. Why you might ask? It’s not just the fine fall weather, the fact that all three major professional sports seasons are currently intertwining or the hilarious pumpkin flavor obsession every woman seems to have right now. No, it’s not all of that. I love this time of the year because of something I hold dear to my heart: political smear campaigns.

Election_Campaign

Election season is underway and along with the campaigns are very entertaining smear commercials, “approved by” the politicians running for their respective government positions. I know these commercials can be seen as distasteful, but I enjoy them…a lot. A—because I know better than to actually believe in them (makes me feel like I’m smarter than politicians). B—I love the banter between the two parties and C—the constant questioning and accusations are genuinely amusing to me.

The commercials always raise ridiculous accusations in the form of questions, such as:

Did Senator Joe Shmo really spend taxpayers’ money on a pizza party at Dave and Buster's? Do you want a Senator who spends your hard-earned money on endless cheesy bread, alcoholic drinks and tokens for the ski-ball machines? Vote no for Shmo! This message has been approved by State Representative Bill Somebody.

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As humorous as these commercials are, they often cause trouble for candidates due to the accusations and questioning from rival candidates. The same goes for hiring managers during the interview process. Asking the wrong questions can get not only the hiring manager into trouble, but his or hers entire company as well.

In order to avoid trouble and unwanted office politics, here are some commonly asked illegal interview questions hiring managers should never ask during interviews:

Five Illegal Interview Questions hr-broad-5-illegal-interview-questions-whitepaper

  1. Have you ever been arrested?
  2. Do you have kids?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Do you own a car?
  5. What year did you graduate from college? 

According to employment law, asking candidates questions unrelated to the open position is illegal. This means that any questions concerning things such as age, family, gender, marriage, nationality and religion (plus many more) are all out of the question. Million dollar lawsuits against companies have been filed and won by the complainants because of illegal interview questions, so it’s important to know what you’re asking before the interview begins. 

So the next time you’re watching TV and happen to see a splendid smear commercial, think about those ridiculous questions and how they can get you into serious trouble. Whether or not you’re a hiring manager, I’d like to think that’s pretty good advice.

This blog has been approved by Hireology.

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James Patrick Kahler

About the Author

James Patrick Kahler is Hireology’s Copywriter & Content Specialist. He is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has over four years of professional experience writing for various industries. Outside of the office (and sometimes inside), he has a passion for comedy, advertising and his Cleveland sports teams…all of them.