An interview is often conducted by a company in order to gain more information from you. There are questions that might have been answered in the resume but companies or at least the interviewer wants to hear it from you.
It is also your chance of clarifying things in your resume so that you can impress the interview and possible gain a job offer. On the other hand, it might also become the stage where you can reveal yourself as incompetent for the job. Although this could be averted, it could be possible.
But even though the aim of interviews is to gain more information from you, there are certain boundaries during the interview that they should not cross. Among them is the type of questions they should not ask. These types of questions vary from state to state however, they can be easily summarized into this – any questions that are not related to your job which would lead to discrimination are never allowed.
For example, you will be asked what your religion is, your political affiliation and even your physical disabilities not related to your job function. Of course, there are questions related to physical abilities that will be allowed.
For example, if you are trying to become a customer service representative over the phone, you need to have at least a decent hearing ability.
Fortunately, these questions are rarely asked and the ones that are asking these questions are probably inexperienced themselves.
Most of the time these questions are asked out of curiosity and not really about offending you or for the purpose of offending you.
The best thing about it is that they may even apologize for that type of question or even warn you about it if they will ask you with that type of question.
On the other hand, what if they do ask that question? You will of course, be placed in a dilemma since you want the job and one of the ways to get the job that you really want is to answer that question.
There are two ways of politely answering this type of questions.
The first option is to politely decline to answer that question and inform the interviewer that you see it as discriminating.
The second option is to deal with that question is to answer that and use it as segue way for your own question.
The first option could be used if you really think that the question is really offensive while the second option could be used if you think the question was asked in good faith. But you should never go berserk just because a question has been asked.
Remember that you are trying to get a job and you do not want to be set off by just a single question. Just politely inform the interviewer that you think it is discriminating and you do not want to answer the said question. The interviewer will surely be aware of this and will move on to other topics and questions.