Full disclosure my son has a pod cast, there is swearing, enough said. His co-host mused recently about a friend who thought she might have lost a career opportunity due to an answer she gave to an interview question around “her future plans”. I was asked about the legality of that kind of probing in a job interview.
There are strict do’s and don’ts set out in Human Rights legislation and most corporations have policies in place to protect both interviewer and candidate. Having said that there are always going to be situations where those will be breached.
I have said this before but it bears repeating, you must prepare for an interview. Behavioral type questions open up a more conversational style of interview and a relaxed candidate can reveal more than they planned so be ready for those questions.
An interviewer asking where you plan to be in five years is not necessarily asking if you plan on having a family but your answer will be weighed in a couple of ways and it’s good to have a solid answer. “Professionally successful and personally happy.”
Circling back to the original question of legality. If you are asked a question that you feel is inappropriate and you don’t get the job you can ask for an explanation vis a vis your disqualification. You can take it up a level to a more senior decision maker in the company and failing all of that you can launch a human rights appeal. However, the reality is this is a competitive marketplace and unless the job is super specific and your qualifications a perfect match you are unlikely to succeed in getting any satisfaction.
The best plan is to research the company and employees, LinkedIn is a great resource for this and use that information to help you prepare. Gaining an understanding of the organization, the structure and future growth plans will make for a better interview. Preparation is key!!
FYI: “Strong Feelings with Babs and Coop” podcast