The illegal questions job-seekers shouldn’t be asked

You’ve been looking for a job for months now and you’ve finally scored an interview with a pretty good company. Your interview is going well when the interviewer asks if you plan to have kids.

It’s illegal to ask that question but what happens if you refuse to answer it and note that the interviewer just broke the law? And so, you just go along and make up an answer if you have to.

This, perhaps, is a big reason why companies continue to ask questions they shouldn’t be asking, and they are asking the questions, an Associated Press survey of more than 1,000 people revealed this week.

Half of those surveyed say they were asked questions that were not supposed to be asked, in some cases sexually suggestive questions.

The results are part of a broader survey of job applicants about their experiences when interviewing.

CNBC, which partnered with the Associated Press on the poll, writes today that about 10 percent of job seekers surveyed were asked about their religious beliefs, 10 percent were asked if they’re pregnant, and a third were asked their age.

That’s about the same response as a survey 10 years earlier.

But there’s one question that is now being asked less frequently, CNBC says.

“Are you married?”

While the AP’s research was not broken down by gender, the EEOC explains that questions about marriage often hurt women’s chances of getting a job. “Questions about marital status and number and ages of children are frequently used to discriminate against women,” states their website. “Generally, employers should not use non job-related questions involving marital status.”

Thirty-five percent of respondents were asked about their marital status but the question seems to be much less common among younger job applicants. Roughly half of Americans over the age of 60 say they’ve faced this question compared to less than a third of those under 60.

Still, young job applicants don’t escape inappropriate questions entirely.

Just 3 percent of Americans over 45 say they were flirted with or asked sexually suggestive questions during an interview, while 10 percent of those under the age of 30 report having to endure that kind of behavior.