In a tough economic climate, it has become widely known that the job seekers are players in an employer’s game. With the market swinging in the favour of employers, the ruthlessness in recruitment has become increasingly evident with many companies asked candidates illegal, offensive, embarrassing and inappropriate interview questions.
Why inappropriate questions are asked
The purpose of the interview may be to see how you will react; a test if you will. But in many cases, the interview questions are asked to allow managers to be discriminative and hire based on unfair advantage points.
Knowing your rights
It is paramount that you know your rights as a job seeker in the country in which you are interviewing for a job. In some countries, asking about your religion may be a common expectation, however in many others, it is considered illegal and should be reported to the relevant employment authorities.
How to answer questions relating to your religion
Here are some examples of religion based interview questions and how you should answer them (note that these answers are only applicable if the interview question is legal in your selected country)…
1. What religion are you?
If you feel comfortable enough to state the exact religion you are, then do so. However, you can keep your answer vague and simply say you attend ‘church’ without specifying which type (e.g. mosque, synagogue or church). You should also point out that your religion in no way affects your work.
Employers may ask this question for a number of reasons; they may want to establish if you are not able to work on certain religious holidays, or whether you are a risk to the existing employees in trying to convert them.
2. Would you convert to another religion for this job?
This question is almost certainly illegal in most countries around the world, however that does not mean to say that it is not asked. A recent survey found that this question has indeed been asked by recruiters.
Although this question may be a test to see how committed you really are to your religion over your desire to secure the job, it is more likely that the organization will discriminate against individuals who are not of the religion they wish.
To answer this question, you should state that your religion, or any other religion practiced in the company has no relevance to your ability to perform the job and so it would be non-beneficial for the company to have you change your religion.
3. Would you work on celebrated holidays associated with your religion?
This is one way of finding out which religion you are, and it is also a convenient method of finding out your commitment to your work and how much time you will likely need off work in order to attend certain holidays.
If you are against working on selected days which are celebrated in your religion it is worth answering this question honestly. However, if you are religious, yet would still work during celebrated holidays, then you should state that your religion in no way affects your contracted working hours.