How To Respond To Sexist Questions You May Hear On A Job Interview

The question of gender equality is something that has become a highly-discussed topic in a number of ways in society; however, we still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to the workplace. Many women still experience sexist questions or inappropriate remarks much more often than men. It is thankfully being called out more and more due to the #timesup and #metoo movements, as the culture is recognizing this is not OK. Not only it is a sign of poor management and toxic corporate culture, but it is also often illegal.

Whether you are looking for a job position or entering college, it is important to know what kind of questions might arise and why they are sexist. It is no longer has to be proven that women can do anything, starting from ruling college application essay writing service, programming space ships or writing a Pulitzer Winning Essay. 

Most Frequent Sexist Questions Women Get Asked:

  1. Are you married? First of all, it is illegal to ask this on a job interview as it has nothing to do with the position’s requirements. The marital status of a female worker has nothing to do with her work performance and therefore there is absolutely no need to ask about it. Such questions contribute to workplace gender discrimination. 
  2. How do you balance your carrier and your personal life? This is a very old sexist interview example, but it is still asked sometimes. The hidden meaning is that women are expected to spend more time with their families than men and therefore it is hard for them to have a meaningful carrier. Some people still think that as soon as a female gets married or has a child she’ll leave her position to have a splendid time being a housewife. Your personal life is not a point of a job interview. 
  3. Do you have children? Are you pregnant? Are you planning to have children in the nearest future? These type of question lead to gender discrimination of the workplace as some employers tend to hire males because they won’t have maternity leave, pregnancy or won’t stay with kids when they are sick. The misconception is that only women can care about their children; however, it is not the case anymore. The physical ability to have a child should not be the reason for discrimination and your personal life has nothing to do with work responsibilities as well. Try to be polite and stick to the business when asked such questions. Or you can ask why it is relevant for an interviewer? 
  4. Any questions regarding appearance, hair color, fitness routine, etc. First of all, why is it even a point of discussion? And secondly, those are terrible questions to ask as they assume that women only care about their appearance. It is a degrading set of ideas that reinforces the thought that women are not capable of caring about less superficial stuff. 
  5. What does your boyfriend/husband/father do for a living? This question means that a female is a subject of parental or husband advisory and her bills might be paid by someone else. There is no actual reason to ask this question at least you are sexist. Is the employer worried that you might leave if your significant other is relocated? Well, it is a common risk for any kind of candidate, male workers can also leave for many reasons, and so there is no need to ask that question. 
  6. Are you comfortable working around men? Have you ever considered flirting with your boss? Women are not in the constant quest for a man, and they are completely comfortable working around anyone as long as everyone acts professionally. Such a question could be the sign of a toxic corporate culture of the company, so you should reconsider going for this job. 

How to Respond to These Questions? 

First of all, you’ve come here as a professional, so try to stick to the professional tone of the conversation. Do not start any of these topics on your own, do not mention your personal life and do not answer such questions directly. If you are asked how you feel about working with a team of men, stick to your working experience as a team member.

There is another option of response to such an interview. You might ask how this question is connected to the position’s requirements. Generally, the person will stop with such kind of remarks after the first response; however, there are some severe cases. Do not put it very aggressively; just show your confusion of why is it even relevant to this conversation. 

And the third option is to stand up for yourself. If you feel offended and uncomfortable you might go quite straightforward with your response. Ask whether male candidates have to answer these questions as well. You may also point out that such questions are illegal as they lead to discrimination and show the poor corporate culture of the company. The hard thing is to stay professional and tactful, no matter how disgraceful and improper any of the questions may be.

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