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Discussion on: What is the worst question you have ever been asked in a job interview?

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emtes profile image
Enmanuel de la Nuez

"So are you a citizen or do you have a green card..?"

Wanting to know if I'm authorized to work in the country or if I'll ever need sponsorship is one thing, but this question did not sit well with me. It's wasn't even a company that says you most be a citizen to apply for any of the roles. They even operate internationally.

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aza profile image
Aza Author

its not a common...its a first question that is asked. Most of companies can't sponsor the visa holders, that's why start with that question. (but that's not the right way to ask. I agree).

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Enmanuel de la Nuez

In the US both citizens AND green card holders are authorized to work, though. Only certain government/federal positions require employee to actually be citizens and they're not one of them for sure! I even asked the employee that referred me :(

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John Selbie

Asking if you are a "US Citizen or Permanent Resident" or visa situation (H1-B, etc...) is a perfectly fine question to be asked over the phone by a recruiter or screener to a candidate. But it's lame if they waited for you to show up at the onsite interview to ask that.

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Enmanuel de la Nuez

Could you explain more why this question matters? I thought permanent residents and citizens are both authorized to work. There was otherwise no question about visa status. I've also only been asked this once and I've been talking to recruiters pretty frequently lately.

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John Selbie

Correct. But I think you are misinterpreting the question. They don't care if you are green card instead of US citizen. They just want to make sure you are EITHER of those two. You can simply say "yes" without more details if that's the case.

The conversation will either go like this

Interviewer: "Are you a US Citizen or permanent resident with a green card?"

You: YES

Interviewer: Thanks.


Or it will go like this:

Interviewer: "Are you a US Citizen or permanent resident with a green card?"

You: No, but I do have an H1-B that is still valid for 3 more years, and I'll need to apply for green card status before the end of that period.

Interviewer: Thanks. Let's discuss that process some more.


Or perhaps this:

Interviewer: "Are you a US Citizen or permanent resident with a green card?"

You: No, I'm currently on an L1 visa from my current company, and will need H1-B or similar sponsorship to work here.

Interviewer: Thanks. Since we are looking to hire for this position immediately, we may not be able to proceed.

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Enmanuel de la Nuez

This makes sense! Thank you!