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Are people asking illegal questions about Rhode Island jobs?

Posted on May 5, 2015

It may be possible that people are asking illegal questions when it comes to Rhode Island jobs.

In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 20 percent of hiring managers indicated they have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.

Interview Questions That Aren’t Okay to Ask

The following questions are illegal for hiring managers to ask; yet, when asked if they knew if these questions were illegal, at least one third of employers indicated they didn’t know:

What is your religious affiliation?

Are you pregnant?

What is your political affiliation?

What is your race, color or ethnicity?

How old are you?

Are you disabled?

Are you married?

Do you have children or plan to?

Are you in debt?

Do you social drink or smoke?

Some interview questions seem inappropriate because they are, as noted above. Others, however, seem inappropriate because they are unfamiliar. But though the following interview questions may have one wondering, “What does this have to do with the job?” there is a method to hiring managers’ perceived madness. Below are some of the most unusual – but still legal – interview questions hiring managers say they have asked job candidates, and what these questions really assess:

“How would you wrangle a herd of cats?” A hiring manager might ask a question like this to gain insight into a candidate’s ability to organize, lead and motivate others.

“Do you believe in life on other planets?” A question like this might be asked to see if a candidate has an attitude that anything is possible.

“What superpower would you like to have?” How candidates answer this question can provide insight into how they view their own strengths and weaknesses.

“If you were stranded on an island, which two items would you like to have with you?” Answers to this question could indicate a candidate’s ability to weather a tough situation with limited resources.

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