Outrageous, offensive and illegal interview questions

by 04 Feb 2008

Hiring interviews aren’t always characterised by professional behaviour, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI) and Monster. The study of more than 1,000 hiring managers and 3,000 jobseekers worldwide to share the most inappropriate questions they’ve been asked during a job interview.

The most inappropriate interview questions asked by hiring managers were: “Would you join a church to get a job?”, “Are you single? Why not?” and “Why are you not yet married?”

The most offensive and outrageous questions asked were: “Would you be available from time to time to watch my children?”, “Are you willing to further this interview over dinner and do you mind me bringing my daughter along?” and “Would you be willing to stay overnight with a client if they request it?”

The most personal questions asked by hiring managers were: “Do you intend to have children?”, “Are you happy in your relationship?” and “Is that your natural hair colour?”

The most bizarre questions asked by hiring managers were: “Who is your favourite Beatle?”, “What would you do if I gave you an elephant?” and “What is your perception of the painting in our lobby?”

Interviewees aren’t always keeping up their end of the deal either, as they reported making inappropriate comments, too. The comments that most shocked hiring managers were: “I can’t work with women” (the interviewer was a woman), “I’ve already accepted another position, but I thought I may as well turn up to this interview just in case this was a better paying job” and “Please excuse some of my replies as I am still a little hung-over from the weekend” (it was a Wednesday).

Other comments from jobseekers included: “I had a dream and a fairy told me I should work for your company” and “I am applying to this job because I am about to be fired”, while a jobseeker also brought in his high school yearbook to show the hiring manager that he had been voted “most popular male”.


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