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Monday, December 21, 2009

how to handle inappropriate interview questions

I'm interrupting the flow of "where are they now updates" to bring you my latest column over at U.S. News & World Report, which answers this questions from a reader:

I had an interview for a job today. It's my first interview in 14 years as I've been in my present job that long. I was feeling a little rusty. I researched interview questions, practiced answers, and felt well prepared. Then out of nowhere I was asked, "Tell me about your children."

Immediately I wondered: How is this relevant? How can I tie this in with my skills and abilities? Are they wondering if I'll need to take a lot of time off? How did they know I have children? Is this a trick question? It's the only question I stumbled on and I feel like I didn't answer properly. I told their ages and briefly described each of them and assured the interviewer that being a mother wouldn't take away from my abilities on the job. I said, "um, uh, er" a little too much. What should I have said?

Read my answer here.