Unfortunately this happens all too often, and can be hard to prove. Women in their 20s and 30s frequently encounter incidents of being asked inappropriate questions about their marital status and family plans during recruitment interviews, with many intentionally removing wedding rings to avoid unwelcome questions. Individuals who commonly wear outfits or accessories that identify their religious or cultural affiliations will often hide those as well in order to avoid unwelcome discrimination. Non-binary applicants may uncomfortably opt for gender conformity for an interview in order to avoid being denied a role.
Often employers who are consciously or unconsciously discriminating will hide behind the notion of ‘fit.’ An employer’s role is to interview prospective candidates, and determine who among them is the best fit for the role. To do this fairly however, employers should be asking primarily job and behaviour-based questions during these interviews, and should avoid any scrutiny of a prospective employee’s personal life.
While discrimination in hiring may be difficult to prove, if you have been asked personal questions during an interview which you know with some certainty later prevented you from getting the job, speak with an employment lawyer. You may have a recourse to pursue the matter through the human rights tribunal, and the reward may be significant.