Some interview questions are difficult to answer.
Others should never be answered, especially in an office environment.
London-based employment law firm Thomas Mansfield asked professionals to share the worst, most inappropriate interview questions they have ever been asked.
The firm asked each grad to write the question on a piece of paper, along with their degree, to further reiterate: no, my expertise has nothing to do with this assumption.
The questions were sexist, racist, and overall, bafflingly presumptuous.
This particular young lady was asked if she was going to return “home” to Jamaica to work — when, in reality, she is from France.
“Will you be going back to Jamaica to work?”
This young man with a master’s degree in economics wasn’t asked if he did drugs, but
the last time was.
“When was the last time you did drugs?”
This woman was even asked if she “got PMT” (Pre-Menstrual Tension) — commonly known throughout the United States as PMS, or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.
“Do you get PMT?”
Other sexist, prodding questions ranged from requests for women to enhance their appearance with makeup …
“Can you wear more makeup next time?”
… to whether they’re willing to use their looks to their advantage in the workplace. This journalism major was asked if she’d be willing to flirt with customers to keep interest longer.
“Can you flirt with customers to make them stay longer?”
The woman below was interrogated on her future plans for motherhood.
“Are you planning on having children soon?”
Men were not spared ridiculous questions, either. This man was asked about the “hickey” on his neck, which turned out to be a birthmark.
“Is that a hickey on your neck?”
And although the remaining question might not necessarily be prejudiced, it certainly is unfair. How could any reasonable interviewer expect an applicant to provide an honest response?
“Would you do this for free?”
Interviews are difficult enough for job seekers as it stands. Between preparing appropriately and writing a great thank you note to worry about, how to answer a question on parenthood or politics should be the furthest thing from the applicant’s mind.
However unpleasant the situation may be, if you happen to encounter an inappropriate question during an interview, all hope is not lost. Be aware of which questions are illegal, then brush up on how to answer them.
You can find the original post on Thomas Mansfield’s website.
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