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Immigration: Questions to be wary of during a job interview

Many Texas households include members who have immigrated to the United States from other countries. If you fit this category, you can no doubt remember your first few days or weeks in your new home. Perhaps you're still in the beginning stages of your journey and are currently seeking gainful employment. 

Interviewing for a new job can be stressful, even for people who have lived in the U.S. all their lives. If you have a language barrier or have not yet fully acclimated to a new culture, you might feel nervous or even afraid when your prospective employer starts asking questions. There are certain questions he or she should not ask because doing so places you at risk for discrimination.

What types of questions should concern you?

Your interviewer might want to know how long you have lived at your current address. That's a typical and appropriate job interview question to ask. However, if he or she wants to know if you own or rent your home, there may be reason for concern. 

It is also not appropriate for your interviewer to pry into your private life by asking who you live with or whether you are related to the other members of your household. Also, your prospective employer may want to confirm that you have reliable transportation to get to work on time but shouldn't be asking whether you own a vehicle. 

Legal status issues

In order to live and work in the United States as an immigrant, you must satisfy all eligibility requirements. Your interviewer might ask if you have satisfied the requirements. However, if he or she asks whether you are a U.S. citizen or where you were born, it may place you at risk for employment discrimination. 

You shouldn't have to show a prospective employer a birth certificate during a job interview. It is none of your interviewer's business whether you have a bank account. You do not have to answer personal financial questions, such as whether you have ever applied for bankruptcy. 

Be prepared and know your rights

If you are preparing to attend job interviews in Texas for your first time since arriving in the United States, it's a good idea to speak to someone who is well-versed in employment laws so that you can prepare and thoroughly as possible and so that you are aware of your rights. 

It's also important to know where to seek support if a problem arises, such as an interviewer asking an inappropriate question or encountering an obstacle because of a legal status issue.

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