A shockingly high number of hiring managers ask illegal questions during job interviews Questions about citizenship, race, disability, or other characteristics often skirt what’s allowed by law. Here’s what to do if you’re asked one.

During the hiring process, managers typically evaluate a candidate's suitability for a role by examining their experience, communication skills, and other relevant professional attributes.

### Overstepping Boundaries

Unfortunately, some hiring managers exceed their authority by delving into protected information such as age, identity, disabilities, or familial status. 

### Study Findings

A Resume Builder study surveyed 1,000 U.S. hiring managers and discovered that 1 in 3 of them admit to knowingly asking illegal questions.

### Work-Life Balance and Diversity Considerations

Hiring managers are often interested in understanding how other priorities and situations, such as being a working parent, having a disability, or holding religious and cultural commitments, may impact an employee's ability to work. In some cases, these questions may be asked to provide more support to underrepresented demographics.

### Gender Disparity in Asking Illegal Questions

The study also found that men are more likely to knowingly ask illegal questions compared to women. Specifically, 38% of men admit to asking illegal questions, while only 23% of women do so. Women's reluctance to ask illegal questions is attributed to their experiences of losing opportunities due to being on the receiving end of such questions.

### Unawareness of Illegal Questions

Applicants often do not recognize when they are being asked an illegal question, especially regarding citizenship, disability status, and religious status, as the boundaries between legal and illegal are often blurred.

### What to Do

If an applicant suspects that a question being asked may be illegal and feels uncomfortable answering it, they can politely inquire how the question relates to the position they are interviewing for. This approach may raise awareness about the inappropriateness of the question, as suggested by Yale University’s Office of Career Strategy.  

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