SBS - The best value in QMS software

Should I refuse to answer personal questions during the interview?

E

Ella Pacey

#1
I've gone through an interview. They asked me some private questions, for example: You have a boyfriend yet? Where do you live? Where does your boyfriend live? Have you intention to marry? Do you usually have conflict? How many times do you go out with your boyfriend a week?...
I answered honestly. However, I do not know what to tell, the truth or lie, or can I refuse the questions about my private life?
How do you answer these questions?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#2
What country are you in? In some countries these are not legal to ask (other than something like "Where do you live?" which I would *guess* would be a fair question even though they should know that from your resume/CV). In others it is.

The bottom line is if you are in a country where it is legal to ask such questions, your decision to answer or not, truthfully or not, depends upon you. What the company expects from questions such as "Have you intention to marry? Do you usually have conflict? How many times do you go out with your boyfriend a week?" are probably in part cultural, but they may also be part of their trying to determine some log term aspects (whether right or wrong) such as will you get pregnant and take time off or leave. I am guessing but I think these are questions that would be asked of a woman rather than a man.

Just some thoughts - I'm sure others here will voice their opinion(s).
 
J

JaneB

#3
I am guessing but I think these are questions that would be asked of a woman rather than a man.
Yup. And those kinds of personal questions - which have zero to do with one's ability to do the job - are almost always only asked of women, and never of men. The problem of course, is that as a woman, you're often 'damn if you do and damned if you don't'. ie, if you don't answer, they think you're hiding something, and if you do, they may not like the answers! Sheesh!

:topic:
Before it became illegal to ask a question such as 'what do you do with your children during holiday (vacation) times?' of anyone, I like the response given to this question by a frustrated academic (and yes, female):
"I chain 'em up with a bowl of water to the clothes line. What do you do with yours?"
 
J

JaneB

#4
... can I refuse the questions about my private life?
How do you answer these questions?
What country was this in? WIthout knowing that, I can't answer the 'can I refuse' question. As Marc has already said, those kinds of questions are illegal in many countries, including mine (Australia). Does yours have a law against discrimination for example?

You might, of course, just have been unfortunate enough to come across an interviewer who was ignorant and/or ill-informed.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
I've gone through an interview. They asked me some private questions, for example: You have a boyfriend yet? Where do you live? Where does your boyfriend live? Have you intention to marry? Do you usually have conflict? How many times do you go out with your boyfriend a week?...
I answered honestly. However, I do not know what to tell, the truth or lie, or can I refuse the questions about my private life?
How do you answer these questions?
How personal is personal ? This is a matter to be assessed and by the person being interviewed. If there is even an element of doubt in the mind of the person interviewed the best perhaps is to ask back "Why do you want to know this ?"
Any less than logical answer would say much about the person interviewing and a lot about that organization.
Since the person is the same and a part of the daytime is being assessed for the job by the interviewer, it would be essential to know about the persons family status and plans to take a decision. Some parts of it would also be within the CV too.
So for some of your questions as I feel :
You have a boyfriend yet? proper
Where do you live? proper (perhaps already in the CV)
Where does your boyfriend live? proper if answered yes above.
Have you intention to marry? proper perhaps (must have added that with words "in near future")
Do you usually have conflict? .... ?? why
How many times do you go out with your boyfriend a week? ... ? why
 
J

JaneB

#6
Interesting. Somashekar's responses highlight the difference culture and countries make.

Here's the situation in my country (Australia) to those:

You have a boyfriend yet? In Australia, an illegal question in a job interview. Completely improper. Nothing to do with the person's capacity to do the work.
Irrelevant and intrusive.

Where do you live? Ok

Where does your boyfriend live? Nothing to do with the job and should not be asked. Irrelevant and intrusive.

Where does your boyfriend live? Words fail me. What does this have to do with their ability to do the job? Irrelevant and intrusive.

Do you intend to marry? Improper - In Australia, an illegal question in a job interview. Completely improper. Nothing to do with the person's capacity to do the work.

Do you usually have conflict? .... ?? why IF this question is asked about personal relationship, illegal. IF it is asked about work relationships, could be OK.

How many times do you go out with your boyfriend a week? Illegal as well as irrelevant.

None, but NONE of the questions that are now, thankfully, illegal have anything to do with the person's ability and capacity to do a job!!! Which is why they're now illegal here. As someone who suffered the discrimination by men asking those kinds of questions, I am now very glad they are illegal so younger women won't have the kind of subtle (and often not so subtle ) discrimination against women that I did.

By the way, Somashekar, are men in your country asked whether they have a girlfriend, are planning to marry etc?
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
By the way, Somashekar, are men in your country asked whether they have a girlfriend, are planning to marry etc?
Usually not. This is also Irrelevant and intrusive as you mention.
In case of women, when the age and spinster status raises a question in the mind of the HR part of the interview, we could ask if they have plans to get married in near future, but certainly not about having or not having a boy friend.
You must be aware that marriage here is more a family arranged affair than a boy friend / girl friend deciding to marry.
My answering were more from general thoughs perspective rather than country specific.
Over here, more than the forseen leave aspect of spinsters when deciding to marry, we fear they would discontinue work or shift location based on marriage and would be unavailable to continue work. Many times the man and his family where she would be getting into would have a say in her career status.

As a side note, does anyone know of paternity leave as an added previlage leave given to men for the first child they have ?
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
I'm always asked such questions like do you live with your boyfriend or not, are you going to marry soon, when you're going to have kids and I don't like answering them I consider that although the employer wants to be sure that my intentions are to work for his company and not to leave 6 months later but that really irritates! Then why I can't ask an employer with whom he lives and so on. I want them evaluate my professional skills not my private affairs.
Welcome to the Cove Silverlady ~~~
There is a difference between personal questions and private affairs and certainly the asker must be trained and aware of these differences. One of the aspect of determining suitability of a candidate is also about his or her ability to continue in the position if and when selected.
Off course no one can stop anyone from acting upon there freewill, but organization's directions would be to assess from every aspect before taking a decision.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Of course the "personal" questions have no real bearing on whether the candidate can perform the functions of the job!

The well-prepared candidate should have a good understanding of what is legal in the jurisdiction of the job opening. (Some multinational companies send interviewers from jurisdictions where such questions ARE legitimate to interview in jurisdictions where they are not, without training interviewer on local rules.)

Whether to answer or evade (never refuse outright!) depends on whether the candidate feels comfortable divulging such data and on whether she is comfortable working in an environment where such questions are asked.

If a candidate outright refuses, especially by citing law, the interview is essentially over and the candidate may just as well pack up and leave.

There are several stages in dealing with such questions BEFORE burning bridges and leaving:


  1. is the question legal in the jurisdiction of the position? (if yes, decide whether to blurt the bald truth or "color" the answer to get the job)
  2. if illegal, is it company policy or just a jerk interviewer? (company policy means deciding if you WANT to work in such an environment)
  3. if it is a jerk (you can usually tell by the body language difference when the question is asked) you have several options, none of them really optimal - [a] call his bluff - say, "Is that question still on your checklist? Those kind of questions were declared illegal back in ____" answer forcefully, "There is nothing in my personal or private life that would prevent me from doing this job or reflect badly on the company. Can we move on to questions about my abilities?" [c] say, "Wow! That question came out of left field. How does my answer, whatever it may be, reflect on how well I can do the job?"
    [*]if you decide it is simply a jerk, you have to know enough background about the company to determine if his superiors would be appalled or say, "Boys will be boys." If bosses would be appalled, excuse yourself, head for the restroom and make a call to report the jerk. If you expect the jerk won't even get a mild reprimand, see #2 above.
    [*]is the interviewer same gender as candidate? (consider asking outright if the question is company policy - be wary, some same gender folk are also predators)
    [*]Evading the question when all of the foregoing still leaves you wanting the job, but unwilling to answer truthfully, means making an answer which will not knock you out of the running. (Boyfriend questions are NEVER pertinent in any jurisdiction so you can feel free to be "creative" in your answer, no one will EVER check or make a lie a reason to fire you, EXCEPT if this is a high security job like CIA or NSA [spy stuff] where "pillow talk" might expose state secrets.)

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, but the plain fact is even some of the best companies have jerks making bad policies about dealing with females. Trying to correct such wrong policies is very difficult when you need a job to put food on the table and clothes on your back.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Sidney Vianna Interesting Discussion Should ISO 9004 be changed from a guidance standard to a requirements standard? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
A Should I take an online course for a career in Occupational Health and Safety? Career and Occupation Discussions 2
J Should a Class 1 medical device with an option to measure body weight be considered Class 1m? EU Medical Device Regulations 0
K Should APQP/PPAP has its own section in a QM? Quality Management System (QMS) Manuals 1
S What should i choose for "testing procedure" characteristics? (N95) General Information Resources 0
P Should eIFU link per ISO 15223-1:2016 be added to labels out of scope of Reg 207/2012? EU Medical Device Regulations 1
S Which Sampling Plan(s) Should I Use? Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 7
A Document release vs its related training. Which should come first? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 18
S Which department should prepare the control plan? could you show me a standard regarding to this matter. FMEA and Control Plans 17
J Help settle a disagreement: Should external providers of preventive maintenance be on your ASL? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 5
N Master Samples - What should we be keeping? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 9
G Supplier delivered recent PPAP, should he deliver yearly layout inspection? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 4
John Broomfield Vote - Should ISO9004 Become a Requirements Standard? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 11
A Capability Study - in the beginning of your career what should you have known about the tool Quality Tools, Improvement and Analysis 11
J Should Loading and Unloading be Included in Cycle Times? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 14
E Manufacturers should develop a testing device for covid19 Service Industry Specific Topics 0
T 510(k) submission - Which name should I use in the submission? Other US Medical Device Regulations 3
N ISO 19011:2018 - 5.4.2 "...audit program should engage in appropriate continual development..." Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 4
G Should I perform Gage R&R only at the beginning of a new project? Gage R&R (GR&R) and MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) 6
DuncanGibbons Should the requirements FAA/EASA Part 21 be addressed within the QMS and AS9100D quality manual? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 5
M Should 510(k) Predicates be Actively Listed Devices? Other US Medical Device Regulations 12
B Why the Greek god Hephaestus should have done a design FMEA (DFMEA) on his giant robot APQP and PPAP 1
J On PFMEA for danger labels - Label always should be assigned severity 10 ? FMEA and Control Plans 3
H Who should be listed as the manufacturer/distributor on the box? 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 15
M MDR, RED and LVD - Should our device comply with them? EU Medical Device Regulations 3
BeaBea How Many Processes should be created for each Department? Process Maps, Process Mapping and Turtle Diagrams 5
M Should volume of sales be factored into risk probability assessments? ISO 14971 - Medical Device Risk Management 33
MrTetris Should potential bugs be considered in software risk analysis? ISO 14971 - Medical Device Risk Management 5
S Should safety checks be included in the Control Plan? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 5
M Which incubation condition should be selected to recover both bacteria and fungus effectively Miscellaneous Environmental Standards and EMS Related Discussions 3
D Is there a specific location for PPE such as safety glass holders and glove dispensers should be mounted Occupational Health & Safety Management Standards 10
Robert Stanley Which Registrar Should I Choose for ISO 9001:2015 registration? Registrars and Notified Bodies 10
M Who should receive the bills from suppliers and vendors, account payable or procurement? Consultants and Consulting 4
V IATF 16949 8.4.1 Control of externally provided processes, products and services - Should the CB be on our Approved Supplier List? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 10
A We are ISO 13485:2016 should we be audited to ISO 14971 ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 16
E Received a Major finding during IATF Surveillance audit for loss of BIQS Level 3 (more than 6 SPPS in 6 months)...how should we address SYSTEMIC CA? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 11
J Organization merger. Should we keep two separate ISO 13485 certificates? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 6
S Companies that maintain your machine should be in ASL? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 2
S Use of "Shall" versus "Should" in Procedures ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 26
D Class II medical device - When should a complaint be closed? Customer Complaints 6
Sidney Vianna IATF 16949 News Presentations from the latest IATF Stakeholder Event - Expectation that IATF 16949 certification should equate with product quality. Misguided? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 7
L Clause 0.4 of ISO 9001 and EHS - Where should I stop the inclusion of EHS in my QMS ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 8
Ed Panek Part 11 Self Certify Memo - What else should it cover? Qualification and Validation (including 21 CFR Part 11) 5
H Should I mention machine/Equipment password In SOP? Qualification and Validation (including 21 CFR Part 11) 4
D How long should we keep the spare parts available for our medical device, after we have stopped the production? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 0
H Statistical Techniques Procedure - What should be included Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 4
Q How should I analyze measurement correlation between me and customer? Gage R&R (GR&R) and MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) 12
Sidney Vianna Interesting Discussion ISO 9001:2024 - What should be changed in the next Edition of ISO 9001? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 109
N Should it even be on the hazard analysis (software)? FMEA and Control Plans 2
V Which batches should or could be considered for design validation and design verification? 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 0

Similar threads

Top Bottom