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Old 07-09-2008, 06:38 AM
307 posts, read 675,646 times
Reputation: 96


I moved here a few months ago without a job (Came with fiance). I have found a great job that I love but I was just thinking about an interview I had when I was looking and some of the questions this guy asked me.

When he asked why I moved here and I told him I moved down with my fiance he made a comment "so you are getting married soon, or you think you are getting married?" and chuckled. When I said we would eventually be getting married he asked if I had any kids and when I planned to have them.

I guess I wasn't too shocked at being asked if I have kids, but asking when or if you are going to have them? I think he was honestly worried about it because it was a position that required a lot and a lot of overtime. This was a pretty big company down here.

I am so glad I didn't get that job, guy kind of creeped me out and now i have a much better job but I guess I am wondering if they are allowed to ask those questions? When does it cross the line from casual to discriminating?
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:46 AM
630 posts, read 1,776,392 times
Reputation: 288
I'm not sure of the legality, but my wife was asked the same thing on an interview last fall. We were married last summer. It was a small company and I think it was more of a feeling out if she had planned to get pregnant soon and thus either quit working or go on maternity leave. A much higher % of southerners get married and have kids right away than some parts of the country, especially the northeast. FWIW we have no plans to have kids anytime soon.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:54 AM
Location: Huntersville
1,521 posts, read 4,694,784 times
Reputation: 299
That's because the time were 40 we want them out of the house!
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:57 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,808,148 times
Reputation: 1075
My husband had a phone interview and the guy asked his age, if he was married, had any kids and planned on any as well.

I thought it was completely inappropriate. I think he was trying to make the interview casual but I think he crossed the line.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:00 AM
509 posts, read 1,721,304 times
Reputation: 182
It's clearly inappropriate. Legally they cannot refuse to hire someone because they are female and might get pregnant some day, so the questions come pretty close to the line.

It happens all the time... it happened to me when I was interviewing for jobs at LAW FIRMS. Go figure.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:00 AM
15 posts, read 49,820 times
Reputation: 25
Those aren't legal interview questions. The tough thing is proving that they weren't part of the interview. It's ok to ask, why are you not currently employed, but that's about it. The rest is bad judgement and taste on his part. Good for you though. Charlotte is not that way for the most part. It's a great place to live, work, and play.

Bottom line, if a question is not related to assessing whether or not a candidate can perform the responsibilities of the job it's not a legal question. Everything has to tie to the job. And when phrased correctly, you can still ask almost anything. If you were to accept this job, at times there may be a need to travel based on very short notice, say 24 hours, is there anything that would keep you from be able to travel with very limited notice sucjh as this?

Last edited by Charlotte Native; 07-09-2008 at 07:07 AM.. Reason: More info
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:01 AM
Location: State of Being
35,881 posts, read 72,360,226 times
Reputation: 22651
A lot of interviewers use a very casual approach to "getting to know you." No, you should not have been asked those questions in a direct manner, but if it were in the context of an exchange about such things as - "Wow - you are a newcomer! Welcome! What do you think about it here?" - and it just evolved into discussion about family, fiance, etc . . . it would be hard to pin point as discriminatory.

Employers have to really be subtle about such questions and it sounds like this guy wasn't . . . but making a case for discrimination would be very difficult. And filing a case would be ridiculous.

When you are interviewing, just tell some things about yourself upfront and in a way that it is no issue. That way the interviewer does not A. automatically dismiss you as a candidate b/c of fears you might not stay here (newcomer; may not stay) . . . B. have concerns that you are going to be distracted b/c you are planning a wedding and then want time off for a honeymoon . . . and C, that the company will put time and effort into training you and then you will quit to be a SAHM.

Here is what I learned along the way. When interviewing, the employer is not looking for reasons to hire you; he/she is looking for reasons to REJECT you as a candidate. Few people think of it that way. Obviously, if you landed an interview, your qualifications must have matched up (at least to a great degree) to what the employer is seeking. So your mission in an interview is to not only look like a good fit for the company, but also to make sure the interviewer has no lingering questions or reasons for rejecting you as a potential employee.

Interviewers who are being very careful about walking a straight and narrow line w/ questions that may even slightly appear discriminatory will just reject you as a candidate if the interview ends and some of the questions about such things as your potential longevity as an employee have not been answered. Sometimes you have to offer some info in order to answer the questions that an interviewer is hesitant to ask.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:06 AM
Location: NoDa
157 posts, read 762,541 times
Reputation: 155
Good question...Generally speaking, no, they are not allowed to ask those questions, they are highly discriminatory and illegal.

You said "I moved down with my fiance". His comment about you getting married soon, while inappropriate, may not be considered discriminatory as you offered up the information of moving with your fiance.

Asking if you have any kids or planned to have them is plain and simple illegal to ask provided having kids does not affect your ability to do the job that you were interviewing for.

If you were interviewing to be a spokeswoman for The National Association of Abstinence, one could argue that having kids could be a factor to not hire you, but even this would be a stretch.

Questions about your personal life, marital status, kids, religion, ethnicity, veteran status, disability etc, are generally not appropriate. Having said this, there are ways to ask these questions that are not illegal and discriminatory. For instance, you are in a wheel chair and are interviewing for a job of warehouse manager in which you will have to lift 20 lb boxes to a second shelf. Q: With reasonable accomodations, are you able to lift a 20 lb box to a second shelf. This may be an appropriate question to ask, because it determines ones ability to successfully do a job.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:02 AM
22 posts, read 78,826 times
Reputation: 18
The questions that were asked or comments were completely inappropriate and I know that they are not supposed to ask you those types of things in an interview.
I remember when I was in college that I took a class were we needed to practice interviews and it was part of the course to teach you to how politely turn-around questions or situations.

For example, if the interviewer starts asking you about your personal life you should respond..."Thanks for your concern but I rather talk about my qualifications" and automatically the person will get the hint that you are declining any personal comments and avoiding any awkward situations. Just a thought.

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Old 07-09-2008, 08:41 AM
307 posts, read 675,646 times
Reputation: 96
Default Yeah ok

Maybe I should not have told him I moved here with my fiance but of course he asked why I moved here, every interview I have been on has asked me that, I don't really volunteer it so it may just be friendly but what is the point.

But when he started asking about me getting married and if and when I was going to have kids it really shocked me. I am kind of surprised to see that some people think this is normal questioning, that it may not be right but could just be friendly getting to know you chit chat. I really did not take it that way and to be honest I didn't want the job after the interview.
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