When you put on your best suit and go to a job interview, there’s bound to be a handful of butterflies fluttering somewhere inside your belly. A few of those are most likely anxiety butterflies, but the others are excitement. Wow! You’re gonna shine at that interview! This is gonna be the best job ever! Right..?
Here’s the thing though: how our interview’s gonna go doesn’t just depend on how prepared we are. If you’re unlucky, you’re going to get a horrible interviewer who bats really inappropriate questions your way. Like a bolt from the blue, they’ll knock you off-balance and make you wonder what the ever-loving fudge is going on and if you’re being pranked for a TV show.
When Redditor iiLady_Insanityii asked their fellow users to share the most inappropriate and unexpected things they were asked during job interviews, they got over 5.1k comments. We’ve picked out the best ones for you to see, dear Readers, so be sure to upvote the ones that made your jaw drop the most with how out of place they sound.
I was a young female cabinet maker applying for a summer job in a joinery workshop. I answered all of his questions which I could tell confused him. So he gave me some side eye and asked “uhhhh how strong are you?”
A lady in an office behind him shouted out “YOURE NOT ALLOWED TO ASK THAT!!!!”
I got the job. Turns out it was his wife shouting at him!
They asked me if I could stop my dialysis treatments so I can be more available. Yeah Karen, let me just die for less than 15 an hour.
Had an interviewer who unexpectedly asked me, what my spirit animal was at the end of the interview.
I didn't know what to say but the first thing that popped out of my head was a bear because the thought of hibernating and being lazy on cold seasons sounds like something I'd do... it's the most stupidest reply I could give.
He ended up being one of the best, if not the nicest and funniest boss I ever had.
Nobody wants to cause a scene during a job interview. Times are tough, jobs pay the bills, and sometimes you wonder if you’re overreacting to what you're being asked. But that’s just our brains finding excuses for people asking us things that really ought not to be voiced aloud. You need to know how to deal with problematic questions.
Very first job I interviewed for was a movie theater while I was still in highschool.
Manager: are you available Sunday morning?
Me: yes I have open availability.
Manager: So you don't attend church Sunday morning?
Me: No, I'm free.
Manager: Oh, so you're gonna burn in hell?
Me: uh... Sorry, huh?
Manager: Nothing it's fine.
"The real reason I asked you in today is because your last name sounded like you're white. We've had the worst luck with black guys doing the job right"
Interviewer :- Do you know how to swim?
Me :- Umm, no?
Interviewer :- Get out.
(software engineer job)
There are a few ways how you can diplomatically try to avoid the question in question without sounding rude, like a skilled kung-fu master. One way to counter an inappropriate question is to steer the conversation elsewhere like a real redirection pro.
"Can you make your breasts smaller? They might be a distraction for some of our patients here." This was at a hospital. And I wasn't wearing anything provocative, I just have big boobs. I didn't get the job, they told me it was because I was too inexperienced.
Interviewer: If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?
Me: A tree with a job.
All kinds of hippy dippy sh*t like this back in the 70s.
Lovers (an adult toy/accessories shop in the US) hands you an elephant sized, wiggly ass dildo and asks you to describe it.
You giggle you lose.
If the redirection method fails, you can always keep your answers very short, broad, and general. This way, you won’t appear rude, but the interviewer might get the hint that this isn’t something that you want to talk about.
This was quite a while ago, and I was interviewing for a janitorial position at a private middle school.
The interview was going well. The interviewer was asking me why I wanted to work there, what my previous job experience was, etc. The bog standard interview questions.
Out of absolutely nowhere, he asks " You're not attracted to underage girls, are you?". I was taken aback for a moment, and just sort of stared at him waiting for clarification.
I think it only occurred to him after having said it how weird the question was, and he quickly started to give some context. Turns out the previous janitor had attempted some sexual advances on some underage students
I was just there to sweep the floors for some cash. Not commit a felony.
I had an adversarial interview once. Passed the skills interview and was sent on to the guy who would be my manager if I got the job. He made a big show of throwing my resume in the trash and told me the next best use would be to "wipe his ass with it" since he went to Yale and I didn't, and why did I think I deserved the job?
I didn't say anything, just got up and walked out. (This was at AIG, remember them? Lol)
First question of an interview at a shipping place. "Do you think a manager needs to understand the job of the people he's managing?"
I replied with "absolutely. How can he manage people if he doesn't understand how their job works?"
I was immediately thanked for my time and was told I could leave.
In retrospect I am very glad i never worked for that company.
Does the interviewer still not get the hint that they’re asking something that shouldn’t be asked? You could always politely but firmly ask them why the question is relevant to your job at all. In other words, turn the tables on them and have them think about what it is they’re actually asking you. If they’re a decent person, they’ll realize what’s up; if not, then is this really the type of place you’d like to work at?
“Which teacher did you hate the most and why”
I answered that I had disagreed with a teacher over a book (I didn’t like it and it was her favorite) and she knocked points off all my future tests.
Interviewer said it was unprofessional to not like a teacher and I “clearly had no interview experience”. So yeah, didn’t get that internship.
For an IT security position:
"If your employer asked you to do something illegal, would you do it?"
...now, before anyone hollers that this isn't inappropriate, I found out later the the job had been vacated by a friend of mine, who they fired after he refused to do something illegal for them.
What are the chances of you leaving your spouse if we relocate you? You mean... for a period of time until we figure out our living situation? No, I mean would you divorce him if you had to move to, say Europe, for the job?
Also, this was a local advertising agency. They didn’t even have that many national clients.
But also, the interviewer then continuously called and messaged me for days after I declined their offer. So I don’t know.
Some questions aren’t just inappropriate—they’re illegal. Asking questions that are discriminatory and don’t relate to the job requirements is illegal in some countries. E.g. job interviewers shouldn’t ask about race, color, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability, and family status.
First question of an interview: "Wait, aren't you the guy who owes me that thousand dollars?"
Realized after three of the longest seconds in my life that he was joking, but boy that caught me off guard.
I had a guy end my interview by asking me what my favorite ABBA song was. I was so caught off guard and honestly kind of creeped out, because I couldn't figure out how he knew that I loved ABBA.
I found out later that when he spoke to my references, he asked them to tell him something about me that wasn't on my resume, and my old boss told him that I was a huge ABBA fan.
"Ive noticed you haven't tugged at your clothes at all. Means youre comfortable with your body. Are you prepared to wear more revealing clothing?"
I was interviewing for a waitress job.
I didn't finish the interview.
Not everyone is aware of these restrictions and might slip up because they don’t know the law. However, not knowing the law isn’t an excuse. If you feel that you’ve been discriminated against, consider filing a claim with an institution like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States.
"Where do you see yourself in five years, after we got rid of you in two to three years?"
No kidding. They really asked it that way. My answer was "I don't know. Maybe in front of your grave."
Immediate stop to the interview.
Does lie detector during the hiring process count? I was asked if I'd ever had sex with animals. That question certainly caught me off guard
"What would you do if a teenager (female) asked you for information about abortion?" I answered that I would help her find the information she needed.
This was for a librarian job in a small, conservative town. I didn't get the job.
Which of these stories shocked you the most, dear Pandas? Has anything similar ever happened to you? What’s the most inappropriate and unexpected question that you’ve ever heard while being interviewed for a job? How did you respond? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
I was asked if I play video games in my down time once.
I said I did, and was instantly turned down for the position.
The excuse? "We don't hire overgrown children. Get out."
Place went under two years after that.
My future boss asked to duel me in mortal combat. I was confused and concerned until he showed me that they had a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine. He kicked my ass solidly. Honestly it seemed a little unfair considering they had a machine in their break room and I hadn’t played the damn thing since high school.
My interviewer asked if I was retarded. I said yes. I thought the interview was over at that point but then they offered me the job. I said no.
A while back I got out of the Navy. That old saying is true "swear like a sailor". I applied for a program called helmets to hard hats that finds jobs in skilled labor trades for veterans. My father is good friends with a guy who is in charge of the local branch of an elevator company.
So I applied to the international union of elevator constructors and was granted an interview. Union interviews, as I am told, usually consist of several prominent members of the union. I'm this case it included my father's friend.
So I show up to the interview and sit down with 5 high ranking union members. My name is Richard. My Dad's friend says " So Richard what do you like to go by Rick, Ricky, Richard... D*CK? Before I could stop myself I sarcastically replied "it's c*ck actually"
I pretended like everything was normal and the interview continued after an awkward pause. I did get the job and was admitted as an apprentice. Everyone still calls me C*ck.
TLDR: Guy asked me, Richard, if I go by D*ck. I sarcastically replied C*ck, and now everyone calls me C*ck.
One interview I was asked two weird questions for an interview as least.
1. Favorite super hero and why.
2. Do you believe in aliens, why or why not- 30 second elevator pitch.
"Are you pregnant?"
And after I said no
"Are you planning to get pregnant?"
"What kind of p*rn do you like?" I was in the process of getting a government job that required a high security clearance, I was being interviewed by an agent. Most of the questions were pretty basic but this one caught me out of left field.
I was asked to describe my personality with a line. I stared at him for a hard ten seconds and asked what he meant.
He said "do you have a lot of highs and lows or are you more steady."
I said "Oh, you mean like a sine wave, not a line?"
Yes, it was for a lab job and yes I am autistic.
I'm a ginger.
"Does the carpet match the drapes".
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