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I applied to a tech company for remote work. This is a role I'm interested in, and there aren't many similar alternatives for such role.

After the initial technical tests (I scored very high) and before any interactive communication, I'm asked to fill out a form including the following:

  • Marital status
  • Children - how many
  • Date of birth

Not to mention nationality, home address, last 2 employers - their contact numbers, 3 references.

Is this any normal?

I'm thinking of filling out the form partially and saying something like "willing to provide the rest of it in further stages"

Note: I've seen Contract complete and client now asking for lots of personal info and Why job applications require lots of personal info and is there anything to do about it?. I've never even heard before anyone being asked "how many kids, .."

EDIT - Company location

Latin American company with headquarter in San Francisco, California. I don't know what to make out of this.

EDIT 2

I've been asked some personal Qs before, "on-passing" when we sat face to face or maybe on the phone. Answered some of them, dodged others. (still - I don't recall my marital status ever asked before) This is too personal, too "bold". I could make some sense out of it if somewhat latter stages of the process. It's like exposing myself to whoever might be behind the curtain - haven't yet exchanged a word with anyone except emails with mostly standard content.

Makes you think "what next - what am I getting onto."

UPDATE

I filled out the form partially and had an online meeting as the first step of the interview. I withdrew my application in an email after that interview- didn't think I can do with them.

I'm located in Canada - was going to work from here.

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    Please add in what country or region this is? (In many jurisdictions that I know of, it's either illegal to ask or could be asked in theory but they would have to be very sure they aren't using it as the basis of discrimination). I'm in the UK and have not been asked about marital status or number (if any) of children for many many years. I'm less sure about date of birth though. – seventyeightist Oct 11 at 20:10
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    What is your location? – DarkCygnus Oct 11 at 20:10
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    A country tag would be helpful. US companies are eager to make sure that they don't have that sort of information so that they can't be accused of using it to discriminate. Other countries may have different regimes – Justin Cave Oct 11 at 20:10
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    Have you asked them why you need to fill out the form and why they need the information that they are asking for? – sf02 Oct 11 at 20:43
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    Possible duplicate (or at least highly relevant reading) of How to dodge/answer when an interviewer asks (legal) personal questions? – DarkCygnus Oct 11 at 23:54
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Is this any normal?

You mention that this in in Latin America.

It is not rare to be asked those kinds of questions around here. The marriage status is really common. The kids question not so common but also not rare to see now and then.

Perhaps, like someone said in comments, they are just following their HR hiring guide/questions to the letter.

Now, the thing here is that you must decide if you are willing to disclose such information or not. If you feel like not, then you should thank them for their time and move on and continue job-hunting.

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You mentioned that this is Latin America. So, there's a chance that this is Brazil. Therefore, my answer is based on this assumption.

As absurd as it may seem, for some unknown reason, those are questions every company I've ever interviewed for has asked. I don't think they will do anything related to your marital status or how many kids you have, but that's just the way it is.

They ask, for some reason.

  • I disagree with that, I'm Brazilian and worked there until this year and I never got asked those questions in any interview I had - mind that I'm a young woman so a prime target for those questions if the employer has discriminatory intent - and I was also never allowed to ask those questions in interviews. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 14 at 13:23
  • @JulianaKarasawaSouza as I've written in the answer, I have been asked about this kind of stuff in virtually every interview. Obviously, your mileage may vary but from talking with colleagues and simply taking a look at LinkedIn I dare to say that most people have a experience very similar to mine. – undefined Oct 14 at 13:28
  • Note that I wrote from my PoV as an interviewer and interviewee. I was never allowed to ask those questions even in icebreakers due to legal liability reasons and the "some reason" is evident - to assess whether or not you are able to relocate if needed or (if you're a woman) if they need to take into account a potential maternity leave down the line. And even in Brazil you can sue for discrimination, that's why I was never allowed to ask. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 14 at 13:32
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    @JulianaKarasawaSouzaI'm not a lawyer but I believe you were not allowed to ask due to some internal rule of the company that is afraid to maybe getting sued. I don't think that in Brazil it is actually against the law to ask this kind of question, different from many other countries. If it were the case, as I wrote in the other comment, I wouldn't see so many people in LinkedIn complaining about exactly this kind of stuff. I'm glad you didn't have to go through this but I know a great deal of people who have to. – undefined Oct 14 at 13:40
  • You can sue for discrimination, the problem is having evidence for that. I recently saw a few complaints of former classmates in the Whatsapp group, all women of course. Two of them were recently married and were rejected (obviously the employer was considering potential maternity leave in a few months) and one of them evaded the question and was also rejected – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 14 at 19:09
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UK answer

I'm posting this because I think it will be helpful and may explain some of the paperwork you have. However, some aspects might not translate well to your culture.

After the initial technical tests and before any interactive communication, I'm asked to fill out a form including the following:

  • Marital status
  • Children - how many
  • Date of birth

Not to mention nationality, home address, last 2 employers - their contact numbers, 3 references.

Is this any normal?

Yes and no.

It is entirely normal for companies to collect all of this information. Often they ask for full details at an unnecessarily early stage to make sure the information is already sorted out by the time they actually need it.

References are a good example of this. Typically they don't need these until after you are hired but it is standard to ask for this information up front. Annoying, especially because the HR departments that insist on this never act on the information quickly, but not problematic.

Another example is diversity data. Marital status, children, ethnicity, etc. The company may be legally required to collect this data or may be doing so for perfectly benign reasons. In theory this data should be anonymous and only used to identify broad trends within the company.

The key theme is that it is perfectly normal and reasonable for them to ask for these details if they are a trustworthy employer...... but as I'm sure you have noticed an untrustworthy employer could abuse the situation and use it to filter employees in the application process. I don't know how you can avoid this as an applicant, especially because large employers set a precedent for this information to be demanded during the application stage.

On the plus side it is probably a better outcome for you if a company discriminates against you at the application stage than if they offer you a job and then discriminate against you during employment.

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    It is illegal in the UK to ask about marital status or children, as these are protected characteristics. See gov.uk/employer-preventing-discrimination/… – Daniel Roseman Oct 12 at 15:42
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    ... and yet companies collect diversity information. – P. Hopkinson Oct 12 at 17:08
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    It is illegal to collect the information for recruitment purposes but.... "You can ask someone their date of birth on a separate equality monitoring form. You should not let the person selecting or interviewing candidates see this form." (taken from the page you linked to) – P. Hopkinson Oct 12 at 17:10
  • Very often the "separate" equality monitoring form will be presented to the applicant within the same electronic application form that non-protected data is entered into. – P. Hopkinson Oct 12 at 17:17
  • I believe they can ask in the application as long as it's kept separately from the interviewers and decision makers to avoid it being used to discriminate against you on. – Bee Oct 14 at 12:00

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