Interview Ethics

Never take an interview just "for practice." By doing so, you are deceiving the organization about your intentions and interest, and potentially denying an opportunity to a genuinely interested candidate.  Always be honest about the information you provide both on your resume and in an interview. Not doing so can come back to haunt you, even many years later, if it is discovered that you gave misinformation.

Inappropriate and Illegal Interview Questions
It is inappropriate for an interviewer to ask certain types of questions.  It is illegal to make a hiring decision based on a candidate’s responses to them.  These include questions about age, race, religion, citizenship, national origin, sexual orientation, marital/family status and plans, physical handicaps, financial situation, and criminal record.  If asked such a question, keep in mind the information that is being pursued.  Remember that not all questions are asked in an outright manner. If you are requested to disclose this information, in any form, there are a few ways you might choose to handle the situation:

  • Address the question directly by asking how that information affects your ability to do the job.
  • Answer truthfully.
  • Remind the interviewer that the question is illegal.

Inappropriate vs. Permitted Inquiries, Respectively

  • Does your religion allow you to work on Saturdays?  Vs.  Are you able to work occasional weekend hours?
  • What is your native language?  Vs.  What languages do you speak/write fluently? (If job-related)
  • How old are you?  Vs.  Are you over 18 years of age?
  • What's your citizenship?  Vs.  Do you have authorization to work in the U.S.?
  • Do you have any physical disabilities?  Vs.  Do you have any disabilities, which would interfere with your ability to perform the job?