Employers use a job interview as a way to work out how suitable you are for a role and an interview is an ideal opportunity for you to discuss your skills and expertise. But what kind of questions are recruiters and hirers allowed to ask?
The purpose of a job interview is to determine whether you are the most appropriate person for a particular role. The questions you are asked should relate to your ability to perform the inherent requirements of the role.
Questions that employers can’t legally ask
Questions that dig for information beyond what is relevant to the role are not acceptable. Examples of questions that legally cannot be asked are:
- Are you in a same-sex relationship?
- How old are you?
- What’s your ethnic background?
- What religion are you?
- Are you pregnant or planning to start a family?
- Who do you vote for?
- Do you have a physical or mental disability?
What you can do if you are asked a question that you think is illegal
Regardless of whether a question is illegal or not, when you’re eager for a role, it’s hard to refuse to answer a question. If an interviewer steps out of line and asks an unlawful question, politely decline to answer the question on the basis that the answer is not relevant to your ability to perform the role. Ideally, this response will cause the interviewer to realise their misstep and withdraw the question.
It is your right to not answer a question on the basis of discrimination, candidates should stand firm if they are being asked unlawful questions.
For more information on workplace discrimination, visit Fair Work.