Illegal HR questions. — The Bump
Working Moms

Illegal HR questions.

What are HR allowed to and not allowed to ask? I sat in an interview today and allowed the HR director to lead the interview and I felt VERY uncomfortable  with some of the questions that were asked IE do you live alone, do you have a sibling and do you get along, what are your pet peeves, how do you deal with bitchy women… I was shocked embarrassed and would have not been surprised if she had walked out. I would have. UGH So were any of these questions unethical.

Re: Illegal HR questions.

  • Those sound more like personality screening questions. I'm often skeeved out by personal questions in a workplace, too. Totally NMS.



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  • From my understanding, it is not illegal to ask personal questions, it is illegal to make hiring decisions based on discrimination over personal information such as marital status, whether you have kids, etc. So most employers refrain from asking questions that could cause discrimination. The only question you mentioned that sounds out of line is do you live alone. Also it is very unprofessional if he actually used the term "bitchy women".
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    jesuisfatiguee[Deleted User]
  • It is illegal to make a hiring decision based on someone being a member of a protected class. In practice, this translates to avoiding any questions which could lead to identifying someone as such. The questions themselves are not illegal, but it's bad practice, and unprofessional. 
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    jesuisfatiguee
  • VORVOR
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    The HR director needs to take an interviewing class.  With a couple of those questions, I can see what he/she might have been getting at.  Asking about dealing w/ a "bitchy woman" is horrid, but they could have asked "Tell me about a time that you've worked w/ an employee who was particularly hard to get along with.  What did you do and how did you handle them?".
  • Right @VDR I chimed in at that point and said or tell me a time when working with someone was deemed difficult and how were you able to resolve the situation and shot the HR lady a look of horror.
  • This person does not need to be interviewing people. Totally unprofessional! If I was the candidate I would have run away. I'd def recommend following up w/someone above her before her behavior does too much damage to your company's rep.

    jesuisfatiguee
  • This person does not need to be interviewing people. Totally unprofessional! If I was the candidate I would have run away. I'd def recommend following up w/someone above her before her behavior does too much damage to your company's rep.

  • kgrobot said:
    This person does not need to be interviewing people. Totally unprofessional! If I was the candidate I would have run away. I'd def recommend following up w/someone above her before her behavior does too much damage to your company's rep.
    This is also right. I would never, ever, ever accept a job for a company whose interviewer used the term "bitchy women", ever. I would have to be realllllly desperate. 



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