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How to Respond to Interview Questions about your Personal Life

The highly saturated job market has put recruiters in the powerful position to exploit their position. Provided that the majority of recruiters respect their candidates and conduct interviews according to industry standards, there are many who take advantage of their power and use it to put vulnerable candidates in difficult situations.

As a job seeker, you are in a susceptible to attracting tough and inappropriate questions at times – it is therefore advised to prepare questions and determine how you would handle a difficult situation. The following are a few examples of questions that have been asked during job interviews and some potential answers:

Q. What is your sexual orientation?

This is a tricky question as you are unaware of the implications of the job and the interviewer’s stand on sexual orientation. It is important to stay calm and not be defensive as it annotates a negative attitude.

A. How does my sexual orientation factor into the job position I am interviewing for?

Q. Are you a smoker?

Many companies have a strong stance with regards to smoking policies, therefore you should demonstrate that you are aware of them and will respect whatever the company practice is. If you are not a smoker, make it clear that this question is not applicable to you and does not affect your performance.

A. I am aware of the policies in place with regards to smoking and will respect whatever restrictions are in place in your company.

Q. What is your marital status?

Asking a candidate’s marital status is considered to be an inappropriate question. If an interviewer does ask you, it is important to as whether or not that effects your eligibility for the job position and why.

A. Sorry, I do not see the correlation between my marital status and the job position. Can you please clarify?

 Just remmeber this line of questioning is not appropriate, so do not feel compelled to answer any of these questions if asked.