Answering Innapropiate Interview Questions


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When you look for a job in Canada, you will have to attend to the so called “job interviews".

Very often, you will be asked some inappropriate questions. You definitely need to know how to answer these questions so that you can land the job of your dreams in Canada!

Normally, hiring decisions can not be based on certain things, such as marital status, race, religion, etc. For this reason, questions pertaining to this topic are usually considered off limits by most experienced interviewers. They realize there’s no reason to ask a candidate if he or she goes to church or if they have reliable child care.

The bad news for you is that not all of the interviewers you are going to encounter will be experienced. Some will be managers or supervisors who are more comfortable giving direction than asking questions. Others just won’t see the potential harm in asking personal questions such as these.

Before we discuss how to deal with these types of questions, let me give you an idea of what topics are generally accepted as being inappropriate during an interview:

  • Questions about your ethnicity, culture, or parental background
  • Questions about your marital status or *** preference
  • Questions about your race and gender
  • Questions about your religion or your religious practices
  • Questions about your health or physical limitations
  • Questions about your children, child care, or family plans

    These questions can be phrased in the most seemingly innocent ways, such as “That’s a beautiful diamond ring! Are you engaged?" or they can be blunt “Do you plan on having children in the next year?" It all depends on the interviewer.

    Regardless of how the question is asked, there are a couple of ways of dealing with the problem. Some are preferable over others.

    Option 1 – Reminding the interviewer that the question is inappropriate

    In most cases, the interviewer asks these questions without malice. He or she doesn’t plan on using the information against you. They might just be trying to break the ice. If your first reaction is to point out that they question should never have been asked or to start making comments about the “legality" of the question, chances are you’re not going to get that job. Employers don’t want to hire people who are going to cause trouble at the drop of a hat. If you make a big deal about a question during the interview, they’ll take it as a good sign you’ll cause more trouble as an employee.

    You’re better off not taking this approach unless you’ve made up your mind not to work for this company.

    Option 2 – Answer the question briefly

    There’s no harm in going ahead and answering the questions, but you’ll want to keep your answers brief. For example, if an interviewer asks you “How does your wife/husband feel about you taking this position?" then you could answer – depending on your marital situation — “She/he is fine with it" or “I’m not married. " There’s no reason to go into any further details, such as how long you’ve been married or if you’re in a serious relationship.

    If the interviewer continues to ask follow-up questions that are inappropriate, such as “How long have you been married?" or “Do you ever plan on getting married?" then you may need to be more forceful. Simply smile and ask, “I’d be happy to answer your questions, but I’m really not sure how my marital status relates to my ability to fulfill this position. "

    In my next article, I will explain other steps you must follow to answer inappropriate questions during a job interview in Canada.

    Alex Berezovsky is author of the book Step-by-Step Immigration to Canada He helps immigrants achieve their dream: moving to this amazing country! He owns

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