Interviewers and interviewees alike are often unaware that certain questions asked during a job interview are considered illegal questions. Now by “illegal”, it doesn’t mean that someone will get arrested for asking such a question, but it does mean that the interviewee is not required to answer it to be considered for the job. The reason why these questions are considered illegal is to protect candidates from being discriminated against when applying for a job. These questions were made illegal as part of the Americans with Disability Act. In this article, we’ll cover what the illegal questions are, why they’re asked and how to respond.
If you want to put your audience to sleep then go through the typical motions of putting together a speech without thinking much about why you’re there and who you’re speaking to. If you want breathe life into your audience and capture their attention, then you need to add one critical ingredient to your talk – passion.
No, not that kind of passion – the passion I’m talking about is an excited interest in what you’re talking about. Passion and excitement are contagious – just try it out in everyday conversations. When you add it to your speeches, it has a similar effect on your audience. If you’re excited, some of the people will become excited and start paying closer attention to you. Then, almost like a virus, that excitement and interest spreads to the other people in the audience. As people starting paying close attention to you, the people sitting around them subconsciously think to themselves “hmm. if that person is listening, maybe I should as well.” So as more and more people in the audience notice the people around them paying close attention, the effect spreads until it reaches most (if not all) members of the audience.
Many interviewers and interviewees alike are not aware that in the United States, there are some questions that cannot be asked during an interview because they can be discriminatory and are considered “Illegal Interview Questions“. You are not allowed to discriminate by age, race, religion, gender, marital status, family size, military history, US Citizenship and a number of other things. Some states also have additional laws regarding these illegal questions.
From an interviewer standpoint, the rule of thumb is to not ask the interviewer any questions that don’t pertain to the qualifications of the job. Now it’s okay to make small talk and ask what books or magazines the interviewee reads or what movies or TV shows he or she may watch. But stay away from anything too personal such as race, religion and family life. The potential danger of asking an illegal interview question could result in federal action if a number of candidates complain (or one complains loudly enough).
In part one of this article, we talked mainly about the opportunities that exist within your own Toastmasters club to push yourself as a speaker. Most people that join Toastmasters don’t venture beyond their clubs, so they’re missing a whole new world of opportunity in Toastmasters for improving their speaking skills.
So here are some ways to flex those speaking muscles outside of your home club:
6. Visit other clubs
Job interviews are full of opportunities for you to shine as a candidate. One opportunity that is frequently missed is when the interviewer asks the candidate if he or she has any questions. I always ask this when I’m done with my questioning because this is what tells me how interested the person is in the position. Yet more than half of the people I’ve interviewed through the years had either no questions or struggled to come up with one.
Last year, I did a presentation at a Toastmasters District Conference about how one can take their speaking to the next level. I’ve since been invited to give this talk to various Toastmasters Clubs (if you’d like me to speak at your club, please contact me) and I’ve learned that a lot of folks within Toastmasters are surprised at how many opportunities they have within the organization to push their limits as speakers.
I had a discussion with some friends recently about prayer and whether or not there’s a point to it. We all agreed that many people misuse prayer for things like getting a good hand at the poker table, winning the lottery or their favorite team winning the Super Bowl. And of course, when it doesn’t work out, they blame whoever or whatever they’re praying to.
It’s interesting because I believe that prayer, when done correctly, can be extremely effective – and not in the big miracles that many televangelists show so you can send them money, but in everyday life. Even if someone is an atheist or agnostic, they can benefit by doing the same process (for example, a lot of the Law of Attraction folks like to pray to the universe).