Your interview is often your first chance to meet a prospective employer in person. As a result, it’s important to make a good impression – which can be tough to do when you accidentally stumble upon a hot-button issue.
Basic Information About the Organization
Questions about the law firm or legal department’s “basics,” like its locations, hours of operation or primary practice areas, indicate that you haven’t done your research or thought deeply about how you’d fit into this job and team.
Instead, make sure you already know the basics, and focus your interview questions on topics that the organization’s website or other public materials don’t cover.
Politics and Religion
These two deeply personal topics are best avoided in most interviews, as they can unfairly bias both your own perception of the job and the interviewer’s perception of your ability to master the work.
If either topic comes up during an interview, don’t share your own opinions. Instead, try politely to steer the conversation back to the work and your ability to do it well.
Your last boss may have been demanding, your co-workers unpleasant, and your workplace uncomfortable, but an interview is the last place to bring up these complaints. Try to keep your answers as constructive as possible.
If you’re asked a question to which you can’t give a positive answer, explain the issue briefly, then discuss how you would have preferred to handle it or to have seen it handled. Follow up with a question about how the interviewer’s organization handles similar issues.
Topics Employers Can’t Ask About Under Canadian Human Rights Law
Employers may not ask interviewees certain questions, but that doesn’t stop the interviewee from bringing up the topic. Nonetheless, it’s best to avoid any topic that falls into the prohibited categories: Place of origin, citizenship status, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, family structure (including children or marital status), disability and health, pardoned offences, or topics related to your appearance, height or weight.
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