Some interviewers are idiots.
For example, I once got asked… “who do you like best, your mum or your dad?”
Irrelevant, odd and actually a bit offensive, before I’d even left the room, I knew I didn’t want to work for this chump.
Now, you’ll have heard the stories about bamboozling brainteasers and weird left-field questions, which to a certain extent, have an end goal (to test critical thinking and performance under pressure).
But the wildly inappropriate interview questions in this week’s blog don’t.
How the heck would you answer?
Unique and unpredictable interview questions can be used to assess how well an interviewee copes under pressure.
But they should at least have some sort of relevance…
Question 1: “Have you ever seen a ghost?”
Question 2: “Who’s your favourite Disney Princess?”
Question 3: “How do you like your eggs in the morning?”
Question 4: “What’s the best cure for a hangover?”
Question 5: “How do you feel about garden gnomes?”
Question 6: “If a penguin walked through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What would he say?”
Question 7: “How hard’s the hardest you’ve ever been slapped – and where on your body was it?”
Question 8: “What’s your star sign?”
Question 9: “How do you feel about the Royal Family?”
Question 10: “Have you ever watched the Human Centipede?”
If you’d like to find out more ridiculous interview questions, dressed up as ‘brainteasers’ and how you should be answering them, check out this post.
This is my favourite category of interview questions… there’s just something not-quite-right about them.
Alarm bells would be ringing!
Question 11: “How would you hide a dead body?”
Question 12: “Have you got good life insurance?”
Question 13: “Do you scare easily?”
Question 14: “Would you ever risk going to prison, for your dream job?”
Question 15: “What would you do if an interviewer punched you in the face?”
Question 16: “How would you feel about working in a haunted office?”
Question 17: “How would you feel about feeding live rodents to a pretty big snake?”
Question 18: “Do you think I’m ugly?”
Question 19: “What do wood and alcohol have in common?”
Question 20: “Can I meet your parents?”
*Shudder* – what are they getting themselves into?
I’m sure some of these have perfectly good explanations but out of context, they just sound a bit worrying.
You can read more horror stories here.
It’s usually a good thing to make an emotional connection with your interviewer…
But there is a line – and these lot most certainly crossed it!
Question 21: “What dress size are you?”
Question 22: “You’re single, are you lonely?”
Question 23: “What’s your type?”
Question 24: “What do you think about when you’re alone in bed?”
Question 25: “How was your childhood?”
Question 26: “If you had locked-in syndrome, what would you do?”
Question 27: “My wife and I are thinking of going on holiday, where would you recommend?
Question 28: “My boss is a dick and I hate my job… shall I leave?”
Question 29: “How do you think I did? (as an interviewer).”
Question 30: “Who do you like best, your mum or your dad?”
What on earth were they all thinking?
If you want to ask real, inoffensive personal interview questions, this is how to do it.
It’s always inappropriate to stereotype others, but (like we said) some interviewers really are just idiots.
These questions may offend you.
(They certainly offended me).
Question 31: “Do you get PMS?”
Question 32: “Are you really that devoted to your religion?”
Question 33: “So, when are you thinking of having children?”
Question 34: “What kind of birth control do you use?”
Question 35: “Do you think you could work for a female boss?”
Question 36: “How do you feel about wearing a fancy dress costume in the office?”
Question 37: “If you don’t mind me asking… what happened to your legs?” (I know, WHAT?!)
Question 38: “Would you just mind giving us a twirl?”
Question 39: “Would you be willing to wear more make-up to work?”
Question 40: “Don’t you think you’re just a little bit too old to be doing this?”
Recruiter Pro Tip.
You really don’t have to answer the above or any other bigoted questions.
They’re inappropriate, illegal and quite obviously (to anyone with half a brain) offensive.
Let’s be honest, do you really want to work for a company that allows such discrimination?
Stand up for yourself – you’re well within your right to refuse to answer and to report the interviewer.
To hear what the law has to say… check out this article from GOV.UK.
It’s obviously really important for interviewers to work out whether someone fits into their culture…
But the following moral questions, that keen philosophers have debated for years, are best kept for late nights down the pub.
Question 41: “When is it OK to murder someone?”
Question 42: “Is animal testing wrong?”
Question 43: “What is the meaning of life?”
Question 44: “Why is it OK to eat chicken, but not cat?”
Question 45: “Is there an afterlife?”
Question 46: “If you were to get rid of a town in the UK, which would it be and why?”
Question 47: “If you were starving on a desert island would you eat a human being (already dead)?
Question 48: “Do aliens exist?”
Question 49: “Is the world too reliant on technology?”
Question 50: “Do you believe in fate?”
On the plus side, there really is no right or wrong answer.
(Now I’m getting philosophical).
If you’re interested in philosophy, morality and ethics, then ask questions like this, not the ridiculous, outlandish ones we’ve highlighted above.
Would you answer?
I think the appropriate response to most of these inappropriate questions would be to tell them exactly where to stick their job.
But perhaps you’re more tolerant than me!
Recruiter Pro Tip For Interviewers.
If you’re asking similar questions to the ones we’ve named and shamed above, then STOP.
Trust me; it’ll simply put candidates off their game and leave you looking a little bit silly.
If you need more advice on this area, check out our article – 6 Interview Question Topics Employers Should Avoid – you really don’t want to end up facing a lawsuit.
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Happy Friday!- Charles Trivett