It is true that there are still too many questions being asked at interview which are irrelevant to someone’s ability to do the job. I would also suggest though to candidates that sometimes we are looking to get to know you and find out a bit more about you as a person. I personally recruit on attitude and aptitude over skill, therefore I want to find out what kind of person you are and sometimes that means exploring family values (which does not mean I am looking for you to have children or not, but I believe I have family values, which play a big part in our company), your relatability to all age ranges and your health and fitness. I think we have to be realistic and have to understand that as we get older we are more tired, than when we were younger and I think a firm has a right to know that we are able to deal with some of the heavy duty time demands of the job. And sometimes it’s not even our fitness when we are older, sometimes we just want different things out of life and therefore don’t want to give the commitments we were prepared to give at 20 years old. I know I don’t, but at the same time I appreciate that isn’t everyone. I think it’s important to get to know someone and whether we like it or not the law is prohibiting this. I honestly believe and I see it every day, that the majority of people want to recruit the right aptitude and attitude and quite honestly if that comes with some maturity and experience we are over the moon. So sometimes instead of thinking that someone is discriminating against you, maybe, just maybe, they want to get to know you better and or are concerned that they don’t want you in a job which won’t work for you. I agree there are the charlatans out there, which we have all experienced, but I know that the majority of interviewers are not.

I can remember my first interview at Barclays Bank by someone called Heather, I was 18 years old and she wanted to know if I was going to have children because I had a boyfriend. J Honestly I found it surprising, but I wasn’t offended and I was honest, it was in my plan, as was marriage in 5 years’ time. Quite honestly if the job wasn’t one that could have supported that, I wouldn’t have wanted it anyway. It makes me smile now , I got the job and loved it, and when I look back, it was her way of making small talk and getting to know me, there was nothing except a genuine interest behind it. I think it’s important to try to understand the difference when these sorts of questions are being asked as employers are really and truly trying to find a way of getting to know a candidate without feeling like they might break the law.

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