Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights
Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights

Navigating job interviews: What to watch out for

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Employment Law

Preparing for a job interview can be as exhilarating as it is daunting. Your resume has opened the door, but the interview can seal the deal. If you are stepping into this crucial stage, knowledge is your greatest ally – especially regarding potential pitfalls you may encounter throughout the interview process.

Problematic interview practices

During an interview, employers may engage in some inappropriate – and sometimes unlawful – practices that put your rights and potential employment in question.

  1. Invasive personal questions: Interviews are meant to assess your professional fit, not to judge you on protected traits. Questions about age, marital status, or cultural background are not only irrelevant but also potentially discriminatory. Politely decline such questions, focusing on your skills and qualifications instead.
  2. Unpaid “test projects”: While demonstrating your abilities can be part of an interview, be cautious of extensive unpaid work presented as a “test project.” It is vital to differentiate between showcasing your skills and working for free. Do not hesitate to ask how the test will affect the selection process or to request compensation for substantial work.
  3. Request for pictures: Unless it’s a job requirement, such as acting or modeling, providing a photograph should not be a part of your application. This request can lead to biases or discrimination. Politely inquire why a picture is necessary if it does not pertain to job performance.
  4. Oversharing on previous employers: Maintaining a professional demeanor includes how you discuss past experiences. Oversharing about a previous employer can raise concerns about discretion and loyalty, and you could potentially violate confidentiality agreements that may be in place. Keep your focus on what you’ve learned and how you can apply that knowledge moving forward without airing grievances.

These questions or requests can seem harmless on their faces, but they can be problematic and even illegal. 

Interview success through preparation

Understanding your rights and the laws protecting job seekers is crucial in preparing for an interview. Knowing what should and should not be part of the interview process allows you to navigate potential red flags confidently.

Preparation doesn’t just mean rehearsing answers; it also means understanding your rights as an employee. Equip yourself with this knowledge, and you can be well-positioned to make a good impression and start the next chapter in your professional life.