In my four years as a communication student, the class that still stands out to me as one of the most valuable was my interviewing class.
This class wasn't just about preparing students to go on the inevitable grownup job interviews we'd be headed out on as we crept towards graduation — it also gave us a lot of valuable information on how to conduct interviews.
Interviewing people isn't something I ever saw myself doing, and to be fair, the only time I've ever conducted an employment interview was while searching for a dog-sitter for my puppy. (And to be really fair, my only real questions were "Will you let my dog out?" and "What do you charge?")
But knowing how to effectively and properly interview a person is good for more than just actually being an interviewer — it also helps you, as the interviewee, to understand when your interviewer is being unethical or illegal.
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Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules when it comes to interviewing. Laws protect us from being discriminated against in job interview situations based on race, sex, religion, color and national origin, and a lot of questions that feel simply unethical may actually open companies up to Equal Opportunity Employment lawsuits.
It is important to know whether or not you are being discriminated against during an interview. You might be able to respond to it in a way that deflects the actual question and is sufficient without giving too many personal details or divulging private information.
If nothing else, the ability to notice the unethical question might have you leaving the interview with a bad taste in your mouth that shows you that the job you're applying for might not be the one for you.