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Recently, someone said to me that during interview with the HR, chances are they will also ask questions that are related to religious sentiment.

I'm from India. What type of responses can I reasonably make when I am asked this type of question?

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    You are from India. What country are you in? BTW. If people say they don't understand your question, then they are not going to help you. Saying that they are pretending the question isn't going to help you getting an answer. – gnasher729 Sep 11 '14 at 12:25
  • I've participated in quite a number of interviews, either as a candidate or a hirer, in two different countries, and never has the question of religion come up. In addition to where you are now interviewing, perhaps it is something specific to certain jobs? – HorusKol Sep 12 '14 at 0:41
  • yes you are right but the girl had mentioned something related to religion in resume and thereby she was asked such a question. – iammurtaza Sep 12 '14 at 3:56
  • +1 for @gnasher729's comment - where the interview was held, and where the hiring company is located, makes a big difference. In the US, religion is a "protected class" and asking a question about religion opens the company up to the possibility of discrimination claims. IMHO it's almost always best to not bring it up at all in anything workplace-related. – alroc Sep 12 '14 at 12:57
  • @alroc: You are right, but there is a significant exception: in the US, organizations affiliated with a church or religious group are exempt from the prohibition on religious discrimination. They can ask whatever they want about your religion and base their decision on the answer. Such organizations include many private schools, universities, and hospitals. So if interviewing with a religiously affiliated employer, it would indeed be worthwhile to be prepared for such questions. – Nate Eldredge Sep 15 '14 at 4:50
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Very simple.

"I don't see how does that matters for this interview".

To which he may have two kinds of replies.

1. Well I just asked casually.

To which you should say

"Sir/Ma'am, I think the question is coming from a genuine part from your end, but I would happy if we are not discussing this.

2. Well we need this information for our further processing.

To which you say,

"Sure. Please don't mind, but can I know in detail about the process'.

The answer to the above question would be a tie breaker. If he/she has a 'real' need for your religions information (ex. Government/state legislated rule or company policy) you can go ahead with it share the minimum of detail (your religion and NOT your belief).

  • I fully respect and like Sudhendu Pandey answer. I just want to add that I once was surprised with the point of this point of view of this podcast: [1]: manager-tools.com/2011/06/… [2]: manager-tools.com/2011/07/… Basically says that just answering maximizes your possibilities to take the work and it could be a case of a really clumsy or rude interviewer. – Shikoba Sep 11 '14 at 8:22
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Depends on where do you take the interview.

In most western countries questions regarding religion, sex, etc. are illegal therefore you are free to kindly remind them about the law. In the real life, however, such questions require two action items from you:

  • Raise a red flag for yourself, this company employees are not ethical
  • Just tell them you don't want to talk about this. No need to remind about the law as I said above, especially if you want the job.

If a country where laws do allow such questions, why don't ask why do they want to know? The question must be with a reason.

  • Yes, you can say, I feel x is a private affair and should not be discussed between strangers. So you evade the question and come across as ethical. – RedSonja Sep 12 '14 at 11:21
  • In the UK we had a census. Lots of people put down Jedi for their religion. Personally my belief is in the god that reins over the fish farms of Splattegon 5 – Ed Heal Sep 13 '14 at 5:40
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    In the US, questions themselves are not illegal, basing your hiring decisions on the answers can be illegal. Thus, most hiring managers find it safer to simply avoid the questions. But the questions themselves are not illegal. – thursdaysgeek Sep 17 '14 at 0:02

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