Can you lie at the interview?

There will certainly be a lot of questions at the interview. However, there is a certain threshold of questions beyond which the employer must not go and you do not have to answer them truthfully.

Mladý muž na pracovním pohovoru
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The Labour Code clearly states that the employer may only request information from the employee at the interview that is directly related to the conclusion of the employment contract. For example, what school he or she has graduated from, what experience he or she has or what his or her personal qualities and weaknesses are. An employer can only ask for private information if there is a legal reason to do so.

Have you been disciplined?

The question of criminal record is therefore relevant where the law states that only a person with a “clean” criminal record can do the job.

How old are you?

The question about age will not come as a surprise, for example, to a young applicant for a part-time job as a night receptionist. The law does not allow minors under the age of 18 to work at night, with a few exceptions. For a more mature lady applying for a job as an assistant, the same question is impolite and may even raise a presumption of discrimination.

Are you pregnant?

Pregnant women could also be found to be doing jobs that they are not allowed to do under the regulations, so it is possible for an employer to ask about pregnancy. However, if no similar reason is given, the question must not be asked.

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Do you have health problems?

Health-related questions also fall under the heading of unauthorised questions. The only way to assess an employee’s medical fitness is through an examination by the company doctor. The employer is not in a position to assess the applicant’s health in a professional manner and there is therefore no reason why it should collect such information.

How many children do you have? Are you religious?

It goes without saying that questions about family, property and other private matters such as religion, political opinions, attitudes to trade union activity, sexual orientation and so on are not admissible.

How to react in such a situation?

Unless you conclude that you do not want to work for an employer who has the temerity to ask such a question, remember not only the law but also tactics. If you point out that the question is unlawful, you may irritate the employer or make them feel that you are defending yourself because you know that an honest answer could ruin your path to a new job.

So if you don’t want to answer the question honestly, try to find an evasive answer or try to divert the conversation elsewhere. If you have no choice, you can even lie to the employer. Assuming that it is really information that the employer has no right to ask for, there is no penalty if you give a false answer.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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