They diligently research the background of companies to try to match their specific talents, experiences and expertise with what is required in the job posting. They spend long hours customizing their resumes and cover letters. They have incredible patience and perseverance, waiting by the phone and willing to jump at a moment’s notice for an interview.
And when they do get an interview, they rehearse their answers to the most commonly asked interview questions.
But even the most experienced job seeker would be at a loss when asked the questions below.
These are all real questions asked at real job interviews. Perhaps the recruiter was trying to be cute or trying to see how the job seeker would handle an odd question, but these have got to be some of the worst questions asked at a job interview…..ever.
Some of these questions are illegal to ask. At the very least many of them are inappropriate. Others are just silly. Some of these zingers are born from bizarre workplace profile tests in which they are attempting to somehow judge whether your personality would fit in the corporate culture of the company.
Nevertheless, if you get asked an odd question, take a deep breath and don’t say the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and decide the best response. Granted, in some cases that best response might be standing up and walking out.
The Worst Interview Questions Ever
“If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you want poured on you?”
“How do you define sexual harassment?”
“Pretend I am an Eskimo and sell me a freezer.”
“We’ve already made a hiring decision, but I’m required to ask you some questions anyway.”
“It’s OK if you don’t know a lot about our industry. Our CEO’s kind of an idiot about what we do as well.”
“How do you feel about a monkey in the office?”
“Are you sure you are Hispanic? Your last name sure doesn’t sound Latin.”
I was asked “Why are pothole covers round?” while interviewing for a reception job years ago. WHAT? Luckily I got it right (so they don’t fall in), and still didn’t get the job.
“You’re not the type that would sue your employer, are you?”
“When was the last time you did something illegal?”
“What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?”
“We don’t allow personal calls at work. Would your children ever call you?”
“You’d be the fourth person in this position in the last six months. What traits do you think will help you stay in this position?”
“Are you dating anyone? Well don’t date anyone here.”
“If you were to pick the theme song that would be played when you stepped out onto home plate at Coors Field – what would it be?”
“Do you care if your boss reads your email?”
“If we don’t hire you, which of our competitors would you want to work for?” Followed by: “If we finally offered the same wages as them, would you work for us?”
“If we hire you, do you promise not to quit?”
“How do you feel about working unpaid overtime?”
“Do you speak Japanese?” Uhhh…shouldn’t they have put that in the ad??
“Are you pregnant, or going to get pregnant in the next 12 months?”
During a phone interview – “Are you as sexy as your voice?”
“Why do you want this job when you should be home having babies?”
“If you were a celebrity, who would you be?”
“If you could be a teacher, a jet pilot or an actor, which would you be and why?”
and lastly (after the interview) -
“We know we offered you the job, but our new CEO asked us to hire a friend of the Mayor’s instead.”