13 interview questions you should never answer

'Always remember that you don't have to answer any questions in a job interview that are not related to your job'

Jacquelyn Smith
Tuesday 08 December 2015 13:27
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Job interviews can be very nervous affairs, but if you prep yourself properly you should have all the ammunition to take them on
Job interviews can be very nervous affairs, but if you prep yourself properly you should have all the ammunition to take them on

Job interviewers typically ask questions like "Why do you want this job?" and "What are your greatest weaknesses?" Sometimes they pose more oddball queriessuch as "Why are tennis balls fuzzy?" and "If you were a kitchen utensil, which one would you be?"

But they'll occasionally go one step further and cross the line with questions like "Do you have children?" and "How much do you weigh?"

In a 2014 LinkedIn post, Bernard Marr, a global-enterprise-performance expert and a best-selling business author, says he's always astonished to hear that candidates have been asked such inappropriate questions.

Know that refusing to answer a question can create a very awkward atmosphere

"It can be very easy for interviewers to cross the line and ask questions that are inappropriate, and in many cases even illegal," he says. "I believe that asking those questions in most cases [is] not done on purpose, but [rather] because of a lack of training and awareness, or even to break the ice and create a more friendly atmosphere."

But the purpose of the job interview is to establish whether you are right for the job and company, and whether the company is right for you, Marr says. So the questions you're asked should never go beyond the professional assessment of your skills, enthusiasm, and fit.

"The tricky thing is how to handle these questions," he writes. "Always remember that you don't have to answer any questions in a job interview that are not related to your job, and you don't have to answer questions about race, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, family status, type of military discharge, or your financial position. You can even terminate the interview and leave."

One way to respond: "I don't believe the question is relevant to assess my suitability for this job."

But know that refusing to answer a question can create a very awkward atmosphere and even jeopardise any chance of securing the job, he says. "If you are happy to reveal the answers, you can simply answer the questions, but remember, it is your right not to."

Scroll below to see the 13 commonly asked interview questions that Marr says are inappropriate and even illegal in many parts of the world ...

Do you have any children

How old are you?

Photo credit: Will Clayton/flickr/Creative Commons

What is your citizen status?

Photo credit: Reuters

What is your weight?

Photo credit: Rex

What is your financial status or credit rating?

Photo credit: Getty

Have you got any debts?

Photo credit: Images Money/flickr/Creative Commons

What is your family status?

Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/REX Shutterstock

Do you believe in God?

Photo credit: Getty Images

Do you drink alcohol?

Photo credit: Getty

What do you do on the weekends?

Photo credit: Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock

What religious holidays do you observe?

Photo credit: Getty

What is your race?

Photo credit: imageBROKER/REX Shutterstock

Have you ever been arrested?

Photo credit: Getty

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2015. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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