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Job Interviews Finding a Job Equal Employment Age Discrimination Incompetence Screening Applicants Stereotyping Diversity

I am looking for a summer internship, and my college referred me to a company. I am a 20-year-old female art student, and one of the interviewers said he knows he is not supposed to ask, but he wanted to know if I am 21-years-old. I begrudgingly told him my age, but I am wondering how to answer this type of question.

Some interviewers still operate under the misconception that prefacing a question with the phrase, “I know I am not supposed to ask this,” provides them with a wildcard that shields them from potential claims. This is literally a questionable reflection on the company, and it could set the stage for a claim against it.

As an applicant, it is important for you to remember that although potential employers are screening you, it is your job to screen them. You may want to think twice about interning at this company.

There are some permissible age-related questions, such as whether you are willing to provide verification of your age after being hired. Age-related questions can also be appropriate for various positions, such a bartending job.

If you encounter an inappropriate question in the future, you should question it. For example, if you are asked if you are 21, you should respond by asking if that is a requirement for the job. The interviewer’s response will help you decide if this is the job for you.

Hopefully, you will not hear much inappropriate questioning in the future. The one person who would probably like to hear it today is the placement counselor at your college.

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