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How to deal with Illegal Interview Questions

How to deal with Illegal Interview Questions. There’s no doubt that in today’s competitive job market, applicants are under a lot of pressure. Acing the interview is undoubtedly one of the most challenging parts of the process, and illegal interview questions can throw off even the most experienced job seeker. Whether or not the unlawful questions seem intentional, you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer them. However, you probably don’t want the interview to go completely downhill, especially if you still want a shot at the job.

Thankfully, anyone can tackle awkward, intimidating, or illegal interview questions with the right mindset and preparation. Interviews are an opportunity to prove yourself, but they’re not supposed to give interviewers the chance to potentially discriminate against you. Remember: anything related to race, religion, gender, age, family life, and your living situation is off the table. If you’re living in the US, be sure to research what is and isn’t legal to ask in your specific state. For example, it’s illegal for employers to ask about your previous salary in California. 

Learn how to answer questions under these categories, so you can leave the interview feeling good regardless of the outcome. Keep in mind that if there are too many red flags during the interview, you should probably reconsider if the company/position is the right fit for you. Since navigating how to deal with illegal interview questions is tough, the team at LiveCareer created the graphic below to help.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you learn more about illegal interview questions. We are home to the #1 San Francisco career coach and Los Angeles career coach, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

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Your Guide to Answering the Most Common Interview Questions

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview?

We can’t read minds, but we can give you the next best thing: a list of some of the most asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t) we do however recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for, and what it takes to reflect that you’re the right person for the job.

Interview Question and Answer Study Guide:

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Here’s the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a pitch—one that’s concise, compelling, and shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment,) then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.

2. How Did You Hear About This Position?

Another seemingly innocuous interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for, and connection to, the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name drop that person, then share why you were so excited about it. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.

3. Why Do You Want This Job?

First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I enjoy the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem,”) then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and I think you’re doing great things, so I see strong alignment.”)

4. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

Definitely keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your current employer. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you. For example, “I’d really love to be part of product development from beginning to end and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” 

5. Why Should We Hire You?

Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can literally do the work and deliver great results; that you’ll fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates. 

With all of these, write your answer out and spend time saying these out loud. We would never suggest that you memorize a canned answer but the more you are familiar with your narratives the more comfortable you will be when you share them. We also suggest you write up stories from experiences you’ve had that you would consider wins, challenges overcome, and other anecdotes that reflect your impact and success.
Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you with in depth interview preparation and much more. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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