Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / SEP. 10, 2013
version 3, draft 3

How to Answer Questions Relating to Your Sexual Orientation

Employers who demand information about your sexual orientation are acting unlawfully. More often than not, the reason the recruiter requests this information is to use it in a discriminatory way against the job seeker. Reports show that many job seekers have been asked questions of this nature regardless of the fact that is inappropriate. Therefore, knowing how to respond is key to achieving interview success.

Keeping your cool when asked questions of this nature

If you are seeking employment and have been invited for an interview, it is important to be prepared in advance. Prepare answers to some potentially difficult questions and ensure that during the interview, you do not allow your professionalism to drop, even in cases where you have been offended or shocked by a question that you have been asked.

If you do not wish to respond to questions regarding your sexual orientation, then don’t feel obliged to say so. Respond by asking:

"Is this relevant to the job I am being interviewed for?"

Or,

"Does this affect my job prospects?"

However, if you choose to provide a more direct response, it is best that you provide a diplomatic answer that demonstrates your professionalism and ability to respond to awkward questions under pressure. Avoid being rude, sarcastic or accusatory. After all your intentions during the interview are to be a successful applicant and it is important to bear in mind that you are up against stiff competition.

Under such circumstances, stay poised. If it’s relevant to the cultural orientation of the company, answer the question in a holistic manner, rather than giving a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response (e.g. ‘I am in a steady relationship’). This will show confidence and assertiveness on your part, and may even land you the job!

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