The Questions You Don’t Want To Ask About Interviews

Posted 6 years ago •

When it comes to interviews, there are certain issues that are a little tricky to discuss openly, making the process a lot more stressful than it needs to be. We’ve provided answers to some of the more awkward questions to help you in your search.

*Note: This content is provided as general information and should not be taken as legal advice for your particular situation. Make sure to seek individual advice if you feel you have been discriminated against.

Should I go to an interview if I’m sick?

When attending an interview, you should feel at your best and ready to tackle the challenge ahead, which can be hindered if you don’t feel 100%. However, don’t mistake your nerves or apprehension for illness and ruin your chances. If this is the reason, ask yourself if the job is something you really want.

However, if you are genuinely sick you should get in touch with the recruiter as soon as possible and ask for their advice. Ensure you make it very clear how important the interview is to you and whether you are able to re-arrange it.

Should I mention my pregnancy to my interviewer? 

Firstly, you should know that you aren’t under any obligation to answer certain questions and it is in fact illegal to ask a candidate if they are pregnant or if they are planning on having children.*

You do not have to disclose that you are pregnant and it shouldn’t have any impact on whether you are the right person for the job. Read more about your rights when it comes to discrimination on the dedicated page.

I’m attending an interview but I prefer another role to this one, should I be honest about it?

Although honesty is the best policy, don’t be too honest and ruin your chances. There’s no need to let on how much you prefer another role as it may sway the employer’s decision straight away.

Discuss your other interviews but leave your options open – after all, you may change your mind! 

I want to go traveling but I need a job to save the money, should I mention it?

Traveling the world shouldn’t stop you accomplishing your career goals. However, mentioning it at interview stage may influence an employer on their decision. From an employer’s point of view, they need a candidate who is worth investing in and will stay for the long term. If you do get the role, you can always discuss this at a later date once you have proven your worth to the business.

If you are concerned about getting a permanent role, have you considered temporary assignments instead? 

Do I mention salary in the first interview?

This question is all about context. You don’t want to give the impression of only being interested in money but it is important to get all the facts on the table. A great time to ask this would be at the end of the interview.

Should I mention my religious beliefs? 

It is against the law in the UK to ask an individual about their religious beliefs in an interview, therefore you should not feel obligated to disclose this. If you require more information on this subject, see the citizen advice bureaus dedicated page.*

I left a job after a very short time, should I discuss it?

You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last to leave a job after a short period. No matter the reasoning behind it, remain professional and positive through the interview. If you left on bad terms, do not bad mouth your former employer as it can give the wrong impression. You may find it useful to see our advice on what to do when you’ve been dismissed.

Be truthful about the reasons and explain how this role differs from the one before. It could prove to be a good opportunity to sell yourself!


If you’re concerned about mentioning a touchy subject, talk to your Recruitment Consultant. At Pertemps, our consultants are on hand to offer advice and to give you the best chance at getting a new role right for you. Find your local branch to get started.

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