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In addition, i would like to make a note on shika singh's experience. There are some hr interviewers speak unnecessarily of caste, religions etc... noting this to be the personal backgrounds. They must be corrected and try to avoid such activities. Else i am sure the family backgrounds will reflect a candidate's behaviour and attitude. It is the HR's duty to analyse whether a candidate can cope up the rules and environment of the organisation. For this they can have these questions but not for the educational perspectives.


First of all I do not agree with the views of Mr. Ravi and way he is type casting entire HR Community based on few lines/comments posted on this thread. Some of the views posted by HR Community Members over here are not properly articulated hence may give very different impression about selection process. Mr. Ravi is carrying impression that, candidates are selected or rejected by HR alone and that too only on the basis of their family background, which is not at all true.

Let me please elaborate my views based on my experiences.

1. Selection or rejection is not a decision of a single HR person. It is decided by a group of people drawn from different relevant functions. In most cases HR representative on panel is also generally senior, experienced, matured and seasoned professional who applies his professional knowledge and experience while taking decision and also moderates views of others.

2. Based on one of the comments Mr. Ravi has concluded that HR selects only candidates having well educated parents and rejects academically bright candidates if their parents are not educated. In fact chances of second type of candidates getting selected are far more. Reasons being: candidate has been successful against many odds and in a environment not conducive for education. Such candidates are perceived to be focused on job, dedicated, hardworking and having ability to perform against all odds. This candidate is less likely to hop the job for flimsy reasons and for few Rs. more. On the contrary first candidate is likely to have many distractions pulling him away from the job. But to know the odds faced by the candidates in his life, it is imperative to know about his family background and how would one know about it unless asked in interview.

3. In most cases selection is a process of elimination. One or two candidates are finally selected out of 10 candidates interviewed. Eight candidates are bound to be rejected. It does not necessarily mean that all of them are useless but organizations current need is only two hence they get eliminated, may be with a very narrow margin. Job of the selection panel is to choose two candidates best suited for the job. Accordingly they decide selection criteria considering needs of the job. For example for counselorsí job good oral communication and command over language is of prime importance whereas for a clerical job it is of less importance.

4. While selecting candidates different criterion is decided and each criterion will have different weightage. Academics, experience, communication, skills, abilities, growth prospects, salary expectations and family background are some of the possible criterion. Point is, selection or rejection is not based on any single criterion but based on combination of many criterion having different weightage.

5. To conclude I would like to state that family background will be a criterion for selection but it will be a secondary criterion with less importance and weightage which may also vary for position to position and situation to situation.

6. I would also like to request Mr. Ravi to respect others even in case you do not respect their views and opinions. I would also like to request him to not to generalize based on few lines written thru a post. Please express your views in a more polite way. By offending and demeaning others you are not making any point.

Thanks & Regards

Dear Ravi,

This citehr forum is for all HR members, as you write you read 100 times before writing anything, probable you should start thinking 1000000 times before targeting someone like this.

You have no authority to teach someone purpose of life and understanding about it.

We are not aliens, but humans as I mentioned earlier and please mention me name of any good company where HR persons donít deal with Human problems of employee. Do HR have job to only deal with Technical aspects? If you call us as stupid, then what would you call those who spend their years in developing and studying attitude, behaviors, Psychometric testing (gain insight into a personís personality and psychological thinking).

To all others, please use this cite to help, advice each other rather any kind of personal abuse. If you donít like someoneís opinion, put yours but this is not a generic way.

Mr. Ravi first valuable lesson of life is Respect yourself and respect others.

And if you feel to increase your Blogs no from 2383 with such rebuking thoughts, please go ahead.

I am not such time-waster that will continuously reply to your thoughts. Gunjan posted the question and I am sure she must have got valuable intake what she wants as per her perception.

Thanks Ash for your good thoughts, you are very crystal clear at your thoughts.

How dare you post such things about me,,
and even if you post, I dont care, because I know that some members have understood the hidden meaning and at the end of the day I feel good that I have advised someone and someone has learnt from my posts.
Have a nice day :icon6::icon6::-P:-P

hello ,
In one of my interviews an interviewer was asking more questions related to my personal aspect then a professional. She was not much intrested in my knowledge and skills about the job profile.
when are you planning to get married ?
Will you get married in Mumbai (the opening was in mumbai) or some where else?
Will you continue your job after getting married ?
Such pathetic questions really made me uncomfortable.
I was not selected I dont know what was the exact reason.
I am only opposing the statement that family background is an important criteria for judging on candidate's selection.
I think Mr. Ravi is also opposing that personal background should not be the only criteria for hiring or rejecting a candidate.
So please citeHRian do not take it personally.:)

Dear Shabz,
I will definitely ask those questiosn to an unmarried lady.
Reason: Continuity for a longer time.
In my case, when I was interviewed, I was asked the same question. You never know if after marriage whether you will be in aposition to continue in the same location / company..or work at all.
Yours musthave been a role, that will require you to work for a longer period, rather than breaking in between and letting someone else take over that job. hope you got my point.
To me - that question is really important. As a recruiter - I would not want to recruit a girl who has plans of getting married in two to three months, and move out of the city - that is a huge cost under recruitment. I will have to find another person, set teh same salary standards, give the same trainign and wait for months for results.
It may be a hard question for candidates - but impt one for a recruiter / employer.

In all honesty, I am taken aback by some of the responses that justify asking personal questions.

Asking personal questions be it marital status, children, husband's occupation or famiy background etc. is highly discriminatory to say the least.

I have worked in HR in a few countries and it is considered discriminatory to ask such questions in the interview. To the effect, that a candidate can insitigate legal action.

A candidate should be selected on the basis of his/her capabilities not the background they come from. In order for recruiters to gain an indepth understanding of a candidate's attitude, aptitude, communication skills and other important crieteria, there are ways to get around it. You can use

a) Competency based questions

b) Psychometric profiling

c) Role Playing

and many other such methods that will refelect the candidates real talent/capability or skill.

Arti, there are many other questions that can help put the candidate at ease:). You may start by explaining what the interview would entail and ask the candidate not to feel nervous.(Howsoever obvious, this certainly helps).

(I have seen a lot of recruiters jump straight to questions, without a smile on their faces:icon7: )

What if the candidate does not feel comfortable talking about his family background, your purpose of putting him at ease is defeated.

Also, are you saying that candidate's with a privileged or an unpriviledged background may prejudice our decision, solely because of their family background or circumstances.

Always remember, as recruiters we meet candidates from all walks of life and it is very improtant that we are able to draw a line between what we judge about a candidate and what we feel about a candidate.

A good recruiter should be able to make a good decision based on sound criteria. IMHO, family background does not form a part of sound criteria.


YA even i hope like in other countries, here also in INDIA a law should be made, so that we can file case against the HR person asking such questions,
then will love to see most of the HR in citehr in JAIL,, rotating the grindstone ( chakki peesing in jail) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

But Ash she hardly asked any question related to my knowledge it did not happen to me alone, It was a campus recruitment and my friends were also asked questions related to the personal life like hobies and interest etc . As mentioned by vkokamath There should be proper balance given to all factors like Academics, experience, communication, skills, abilities, growth prospects, salary expectations and family background too.
She was emphasising more on our personal life not on our knowledge and skills.
I do not know whether it is right or wrong to ask such questions in interview but career is always a priority and an important factor in anyone's life and no one would allow his or her personal life to affect his or her career.

Hi Ash

I am sorry to say but I find your response highly sexist and prejudiced .:no:(no offence!)

I understand your point about recruitment budgets and ensuring you have the right candidate on board but I fail to understand your questions around marriage.

I'd question a candidate's commitment, aspirations, reasons for change to understand their situation.

Would you ask the same question to an unmarried guy - his level of commitment may change post marriage.


If this was a married lady ( you would hire her without a second thought).........while she may be heading for a divorce in the background


A guy with a stable background.....who may be checking out another offer only to ditch yours in a few days

All in all, my point is eventualities are possible in every situation.

While your intentions are very noble and rightly steered in business direction, your approach may be biased.

I ask you, had you not got the job because of questions that hold no relevance to the job, would you have called it fair?

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