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plaidearthworm
05-02-2008, 08:00 AM
When I applied for my first job as a newspaper reporter, the editor asked me if I had any enemies. A bit stunned, I said no, and I got the job. So what's your weirdest job interview question?

Autodidact
05-02-2008, 08:05 AM
Well, it began with, "It's come to my attention that you're a lesbian..." and went downhill from there.
Oddly enough, I'm still working there 20 years later.

kct webber
05-02-2008, 09:24 AM
I had to go through a psych interview for one my jobs in the military. I was asked A LOT of really disturbing questions.

"Would you rather rape your mother or kill your father?" as an example. The interview lasted for almost nine hours. Most of the questions were like that.

LIVIN
05-02-2008, 09:41 AM
"Would you rather rape your mother or kill your father?"

Don't leave us on the edge of our seats... Well? :D

:Shrug:

kct webber
05-02-2008, 09:55 AM
I answered kill my father. It must have been the right answer, 'cause I was accepted into the unit. :D

akiwiguy
05-02-2008, 10:15 AM
"Would you rather rape your mother or kill your father?" as an example.

I almost glossed over that. That is an incredibly interesting question.

samgail
05-02-2008, 10:18 AM
I was handed a ballpoint pen and asked "can you sell this pen to me?"
I was also asked during an interview to be a bartender if i had a possesive boyfriend.

kct webber
05-02-2008, 10:20 AM
Unfortunately, they stop being what I would call interesting after nine hours. Not a single question had a right, or even sane, answer. I came out of there looking like I had spent nine hours in the gym. :flag:

oswann
05-02-2008, 11:16 AM
I have interviewed hundreds of people for jobs and these two bit questions are the type of fodder dragged out by the most uninspired employers to pretend to be intelligent.

The best interviews are exchanges and all the "what type of fruit (or any inanimate object) would you be?" questions should be answered with - "I sued the last person who tried to psycho-analyse me. Can we move on to the next question?"

Os.

benbradley
05-02-2008, 11:22 AM
"Is there anything you like about your present job?"

Smiling Ted
05-02-2008, 02:04 PM
"Who would you most like to have dinner with?" preceded by "Do you know copyright law?"

These were both asked in an interview for a job writing descriptions of ink and toner cartridges.

Namatu
05-02-2008, 05:17 PM
This was on a psych form for a job: "Fire fascinates me. True/False."

I chose true. Fire pretty!

kristie911
05-02-2008, 05:22 PM
My favorite question to ask in interviews is, "Why shouldn't we hire you?" Really throws people off. But then I do like to f--k with people...it amuses me. :tongue

Kct, I had to take a psych exam for my current job. By the time I was done I was convinced I was completely insane. Apparently I fooled them. :)

Bmwhtly
05-02-2008, 05:25 PM
Back when I was younger, an interviewer asked me how many toes I had.

Never saw the point of that one.

CaroGirl
05-02-2008, 05:28 PM
Not a job interview, but I got a call to be a personal reference for a friend of mine who'd applied for a job. Over the phone, the interviewer asked me things like, "What's [your friend's] opinion on biker gangs?" and "How does [your friend] feel about capital punishment?" So, I'm like, I don't know; we never talk about stuff like that.

Jcomp
05-02-2008, 05:29 PM
I was handed a ballpoint pen and asked "can you sell this pen to me?"
I was also asked during an interview to be a bartender if i had a possesive boyfriend.

I've had to do the "sell this pen to me" at least three different times. It's pretty standard for most basic sales gigs, or as is my understanding. I'm at the point now where, should I ever apply for another sales position (doubtful), I know that I need to start eyeing the pen in the interviewers hand to identify the features that I need to emphasize for the sale.

Maryn
05-02-2008, 06:33 PM
I was asked this one for an editorial job at an academic publisher--a job I did not get, although they told me I was a strong second choice and if the person they offered it to declined, I'd be hired. (I guess they accepted.)

If you are meeting a client in a public place at 9:00 a.m., at what time do you consider yourself late?"

I said 8:50. I didn't mention that I'd be there by 6:30 if I were a hit man.

Maryn, remembering the interview for the first time in ages

EriRae
05-02-2008, 06:37 PM
Follow-up question to "tell me about a time when you took a concept from A to Z," to which I replied, "I wrote a novel."

ETA: I explained the process, wrote 186k, cut to 100k, still revising, sending to agents, etc.

"So when do I get a copy?"

TerzaRima
05-02-2008, 06:46 PM
"Are you married or seeing anybody?", which, you know, not so cool.

Sarita
05-02-2008, 06:51 PM
What's the weirdest question you've been asked on a job interview? Not so much a question, but when a Chiropractor started taking his pants off while interviewing me, 21 year old Sara ran out the door.

robeiae
05-02-2008, 06:54 PM
Not so much a question, but when a Chiropractor started taking his pants off while interviewing me, 21 year old Sara ran out the door.
In all honesty, I wasn't really a chiropractor, anyway.

Bubastes
05-02-2008, 06:59 PM
All in the same interview:

"Are you married?"
"Do you plan to have children?"
"What religion are you?"

The kicker: these questions were asked by a federal judge.

WendyNYC
05-02-2008, 07:11 PM
Someone asked me what kind of magazines I read. I was 22 at the time, and probably still reading things like Cosmo and Glamour.

"Newsweek," I said.

Silver King
05-02-2008, 07:11 PM
All in the same interview:

"Are you married?"
"Do you plan to have children?"
"What religion are you?"

The kicker: these questions were asked by a federal judge.
Federal law prohibits the asking of all three, whether they're asked on job applications or during the course of an interview.

I wish more people would turn in interviewers who ask inappropriate and unlawful questions. Then sue their asses to make sure it doesn't happen again.

WendyNYC
05-02-2008, 07:13 PM
Federal law prohibits the asking of all three, whether they're asked on job applications or during the course of an interview.

I wish more people would turn in interviewers who ask inappropriate and unlawful questions. Then sue their asses to make sure it doesn't happen again.


Interviewers almost always ask young women stuff like that, or find a way to hint at it. At least, that's what I have experienced.

Bubastes
05-02-2008, 07:15 PM
Federal law prohibits the asking of all three, whether they're asked on job applications or during the course of an interview.


Of course federal law prohibits it. That's why I also pointed out that these were asked by a federal judge (I was interviewing for a judicial clerkship). It sure didn't give me warm fuzzies about the state of our legal system when a person entrusted with our laws couldn't be bothered to follow the law himself.

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 07:16 PM
I think one interviewer asked me, "What kind of job does your husband have?"

I couldn't see how that was relevant to MY employment.

melaniehoo
05-02-2008, 07:18 PM
I was asked my favorite radio station from a list of four or five. Apparently there'd been some disagreements with the former employee.

I asked a weird question of a potential roommate (now friend) that she still talks about: I asked if she has her own toiletries. We were having a problem with another girl using our razors, blech.

sunna
05-02-2008, 07:19 PM
My favorite question to ask in interviews is, "Why shouldn't we hire you?" Really throws people off. But then I do like to f--k with people...it amuses me.

Heh. I love asking that one. :tongue

The weirdest interview I ever had where I was on the other side of the table, they asked me if I was Democrat or Republican before I even sat down, then, rapid-fire, why didn't I have kids, what my favorite move was, how I felt about homosexuals, what my religion was, did I watch much TV, and if my "missionary work" (!?) in Bosnia had changed my life.


Yeah. I didn't take that job.

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 07:23 PM
My favorite question to ask in interviews is, "Why shouldn't we hire you?"

A similar one they ask is "What is your worst quality?'

Yeah right. I'll just tell you all my bad qualities. That'll wow ya.

Silver King
05-02-2008, 07:23 PM
Interviewers almost always ask young women stuff like that, or find a way to hint at it. At least, that's what I have experienced.
They're not allowed to even infer such a question, let alone ask it outright.

It often boils down to the interviewers' lack of knowledge of the laws (which is no defense), and interviewees' who either don't mind what they're asked, or are also unaware of the same laws that are meant to protect them against discrimination.

I have to step out for a while, but when I return, I'll provide a handy link that spells out what interviewers can and cannot ask potential employees.

WendyNYC
05-02-2008, 07:39 PM
They're not allowed to even infer such a question, let alone ask it outright.

It often boils down to the interviewers' lack of knowledge of the laws (which is no defense), and interviewees' who either don't mind what they're asked, or are also unaware of the same laws that are meant to protect them against discrimination.

I have to step out for a while, but when I return, I'll provide a handy link that spells out what interviewers can and cannot ask potential employees.

Oh no, I think the interviewers who asked me knew. And I certainly knew they weren't supposed to be hinting. But when you are young and need tp pay the rent, what do you do? I certainly couldn't afford to sue anyone at the time. It would be a different story if I was asked that now.

Inky
05-02-2008, 07:40 PM
I was handed a ballpoint pen and asked "can you sell this pen to me?"
I was also asked during an interview to be a bartender if i had a possesive boyfriend.
Did you work for Carmax???? That's the same bloody thing they did to me: can you sell me this pen?
Needless to say, I was hired!

I interviewed for position of Executive Accountant. Potential new boss asked me: 'Do you have an aversion to short skirts and black nylons?'
I asked if this was a uniform.
He said no, it was simply what he preferred his female employees to wear.

I asked: "Do you have a problem wearing a g-string and a bib?"
He nearly choked. Eyes bulged. "EXCUSE ME?"

'It's what I prefer bosses to wear. I find being dressed like an ass prevents one from becoming arrogant.'

They never called.

In my youth, I've had questions asked like my sexual preference, religion, how often I date, how many kids I have & if they were by the same father...you'd be amazed. As the above poster said: in your youth, when you have to pay your own way in the world--the questions are offensive, but you don't feel like you have a choice.

But as I aged....so too did the bitch in me. Now? I'll have those types of interviewers for lunch...shaken, not stirred!

Inky
05-02-2008, 07:47 PM
A similar one they ask is "What is your worst quality?'

Yeah right. I'll just tell you all my bad qualities. That'll wow ya.
I always answered this with: I'm a workaholic. It shut them up real quick like...they figured they'd hit the motherlode? Dunno. I'd get the job, so I must have answered something correctly. What I hate, done by USAA, are those bloody aptitude tests that last an entire day. They outa pay you for your time!!! And the questions on these things----grrrrrrrr! They have it in like 4 stages. Some questions on the computer. Others with an actual human. Another on a tape recorder with earphones that make you think you're playing the part of Princess Leia....and then a booklet and #2 pencil.
WHO NEEDS THIS PRESSURE?????

After THAT interview....just give me a hamburger patty to flip....

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 08:02 PM
I always answered this with: I'm a workaholic. It shut them up real quick like...they figured they'd hit the motherlode?.

Yes, that's how you're supposed to answer it is what I've read. "I love working so much, I just can't tear myself away from my desk at the end of the day."

It would be bullshit, but I guess I could say it.

underthecity
05-02-2008, 08:04 PM
I landed a rare interview a couple of years ago to write catalog copy for a company that sold auto parts. Late in the interview, the guy brought me into a room where a pile of parts were sitting on a table. "Do you know what that is?" he asked. I looked it over and said "An alternator." He wanted me to assemble it. It seems that I needed basic mechanical aptitude for this position. Luckily, I did have that aptitude and I had watched my father ONCE replace the brushes in his car's alternator many years ago.

I asked for instructions, and he gave me a blowup parts detail. I was able to assemble the whole thing in about twenty minutes. Someone checked it over and saw that I had done it correctly.

I didn't get the job. I found out two weeks later they had hired from within.

Sigh.

allen

WendyNYC
05-02-2008, 08:08 PM
Yes, that's how you're supposed to answer it is what I've read. "I love working so much, I just can't tear myself away from my desk at the end of the day."

It would be bullshit, but I guess I could say it.


Or there's always "I'm too organized, it's hard for me to just let go of responsibility" or "I have problems delegating" or "I'm a perfectionist" all variations on the same theme: I'm a good workerbee.

jennifer75
05-02-2008, 08:11 PM
No wierd questions asked come to mind, however a BIZARRE LOCATION FOR AN INTERVIEW - at a Bar!!!!! I was like, I LOVE YOU! No, I didn't get it - you think it was a test????

melaniehoo
05-02-2008, 08:24 PM
Or there's always "I'm too organized, it's hard for me to just let go of responsibility" or "I have problems delegating" or "I'm a perfectionist" all variations on the same theme: I'm a good workerbee.

I usually go with the perfectionist answer. :D

samgail
05-02-2008, 08:25 PM
My SO was asked "When was the last time you cheated on your wife?" during an interview for a coaching position.

sunna
05-02-2008, 08:49 PM
No wierd questions asked come to mind, however a BIZARRE LOCATION FOR AN INTERVIEW - at a Bar!!!!! I was like, I LOVE YOU! No, I didn't get it - you think it was a test????

Were you offered a choice between beer, a mixed drink, and a shot? :D

My kinda test, but there's no winning that one.

Seaclusion
05-02-2008, 10:25 PM
A woman walked into my restaurant, sat at the bar and said "give me a double scotch on the rocks and an application". I didn't have to ask her any impertinent questions, she already told me everything I needed to know. You know what file the application went into.

Richard

maestrowork
05-02-2008, 10:34 PM
All in the same interview:

"Are you married?"
"Do you plan to have children?"
"What religion are you?"



I believe personal questions are "illegal" in most job interviews.

maestrowork
05-02-2008, 10:35 PM
"Tell me something about you that nobody knows..."


I was so tempted to tell him about the secret tattoo on my ass, right in the middle, with his name on it.

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 10:35 PM
A woman walked into my restaurant, sat at the bar and said "give me a double scotch on the rocks and an application". I didn't have to ask her any impertinent questions, she already told me everything I needed to know. You know what file the application went into.

Richard

You signed her right up as the new bartender, right?

Seaclusion
05-02-2008, 10:37 PM
Sure did. The only problem was that she was applying as bookkeeper.

Richard

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 10:37 PM
"Tell me something about you that nobody knows..."

I was so tempted to tell him about the secret tattoo on my ass, right in the middle, with his name on it.

OOh yeah. Too bad it wasn't a female interviewer.

rhymegirl
05-02-2008, 10:39 PM
Sure did. The only problem was that she was applying as bookkeeper.

Richard

Oh. Hmmm. Well, maybe booze helps her relax while she's doing the books.

heyjude
05-02-2008, 10:54 PM
I worked for my hubby when he was interviewing people for a really high-pressure job. One guy walks in and says, "You have any problems with people with mental illnesses?" Hubby kind of gulps and the guy, with no provocation at all, says, "I started hearing voices after my accident. I'm almost never violent. Any more."

It was a short interview.

Also, hubby is one of those who asks the really personal questions ("You married?"). He doesn't mean anything by it, he's naturally curious. He likes people and wants to know about them. Until I came along he never even knew it was illegal. Now I sit on him and he doesn't ask inappropriate stuff any more. :)

Inky
05-02-2008, 11:55 PM
I worked for my hubby when he was interviewing people for a really high-pressure job. One guy walks in and says, "You have any problems with people with mental illnesses?" Hubby kind of gulps and the guy, with no provocation at all, says, "I started hearing voices after my accident. I'm almost never violent. Any more."

It was a short interview.

Also, hubby is one of those who asks the really personal questions ("You married?"). He doesn't mean anything by it, he's naturally curious. He likes people and wants to know about them. Until I came along he never even knew it was illegal. Now I sit on him and he doesn't ask inappropriate stuff any more. :)
I KNOW you have to STILL laugh over that guy...I'd lean over & tell your husband that you think some of the voices were left behind 'cause you hear 'em every now & then... :ROFL:
Gawd, but I laughed when reading this!

Jcomp
05-03-2008, 12:18 AM
A woman walked into my restaurant, sat at the bar and said "give me a double scotch on the rocks and an application". I didn't have to ask her any impertinent questions, she already told me everything I needed to know. You know what file the application went into.

Richard


You can find so much material on these boards it overwhelms me. Please, somebody write a story using this introduction. Please. I'm instantly intrigued. I have to know more about this woman.

This is why I need to frequent OP more. It's a house of ideas.

DWSTXS
05-03-2008, 12:47 AM
I had that stupid 'pen' question asked of me once. It threw me for a loop, when the guy said 'Can you sell me this pen?"

"No" I said "You already own it, I mean, it's IN your hand isn't it?"

so he tosses it to me. It was a nice Mont Blanc pen too. I gulped because he'd stumped me.
I loooked at him, racking my brain for something to say

"So, you just gave me something of yours for free, I'll be happy to sell it back to you for a buck" I said, trying not to sound smart-ass

He turned red. "Okay, you win, give it back."

I held out my hand, wiggled my fingers. "Five bucks!"

LOL

They offered me the job, but I turned them down. I hate those 'games' BS type of questions.
**********************
On the other hand, I was interviewing to hire someone for a position once, when I was mgmt, and I asked a girl why she had checked off the box where it said have you ever been convicted of a felony.
She said, "Oh I just got out of prison, but I was innocent. Then she added, I really was, it was my boyfriend who did it. He's still inside, for attempted murder!

rhymegirl
05-03-2008, 01:31 AM
I still hate it when they say, "So tell me about yourself."

I NEVER knew how to answer that until I took a resume and interview workshop. They told us you are supposed to answer that in 30 seconds or so. Keep it short and concise. They are asking you that to put you on the spot to see how you'll react. Some people are surprised by it and go, "Uh...um...well...uh.."

Some people don't know how much info to tell so they ramble on and on for five minutes or so, telling everything about themselves, way too much personal info. "And I have this mole on my upper thigh."

It's really a trick question.

maestrowork
05-03-2008, 01:39 AM
I have a mole on my upper thigh.

DWSTXS
05-03-2008, 01:43 AM
when they say, "So tell me about yourself."

I'm sorely tempted to say, "Well, I'm getting pretty good at masturbation"

You think that might stop them down for a minute?

rhymegirl
05-03-2008, 01:44 AM
I have a mole on my upper thigh.

So do I, Ray. But just remember, those pesky interviewers don't need to know!

Silver King
05-03-2008, 01:44 AM
I mentioned earlier that I'd provide a link (http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html). These are federal laws that prohibit job discrimination. Anyone seeking employment should familiarize themselves with these regulations, and certainly those in a hiring capacity should be aware of the boundaries they are forbidden to cross when interviewing prospective employees. In addition to these, most states have their own regulations you should be familiar with that protect you from other forms of discrimination.

I found this part in particular to be noteworthy for this thread:

Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:
harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age;
retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;
employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities; and
denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

maestrowork
05-03-2008, 01:48 AM
So do I, Ray. But just remember, those pesky interviewers don't need to know!

I'd tell them, "I have a snake on my inner thigh" then.

DWSTXS
05-03-2008, 01:50 AM
I was always under the impression that small business owners were exempt from that particular law and could ask any questions. By small business, I mean, less than 100 employees.
That might be wrong, but I seem to remember hearing that, a long time ago.

Silver King
05-03-2008, 02:03 AM
I was always under the impression that small business owners were exempt from that particular law and could ask any questions. By small business, I mean, less than 100 employees.
That might be wrong, but I seem to remember hearing that, a long time ago.
That's not correct, but some of the provisions apply to companies that employ a certain number of people:

V. Which Employers and Other Entities Are Covered by These Laws?

Title VII and the ADA cover all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. These laws also cover private and public employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship and training.
The ADEA covers all private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments (including school districts), employment agencies and labor organizations.
The EPA covers all employers who are covered by the Federal Wage and Hour Law (the Fair Labor Standards Act). Virtually all employers are subject to the provisions of this Act.
Please don't go by just what I'm quoting here, as there is more information in the link I provided above.

WendyNYC
05-03-2008, 02:08 AM
This is not for a job, but...
When my kid was being interviewed for kindergarten, I was asked by one of the schools if she was a full term baby and if I had any complications with childbirth. My friend was asked how long she breastfed.

A little intrusive, don't you think?

Appalachian Writer
05-03-2008, 03:40 AM
Once I was asked if I "was honest." Intersting question, I said. If I say yes how will you know if I'm lying? I didn't get the job but I bet they struck that question from their list.

nicolen
05-03-2008, 06:00 AM
I went for an interview with a different part of my company and got asked whether I intended to apply for a different position within my own department. I answered no because at that time I really wanted out of my department and really wanted to work in the new department. I flubbed an answer as to why because I was not prepared to bring up the dramas that were happening in my department at that time in a job interview.

Ironically, the feedback after the interview was that that answer cost me the job because they felt it showed I wasn't very ambitious.

RLB
05-03-2008, 06:15 AM
"Do you think people should be able to wear bathing suits in public places?"

It was on the company's personality test. The only reason I remember it it because I got it wrong. Being a native Floridian, I ticked off "yes." The interviewer told me that this indicated I had issues with authority. I have no idea how they got that. But I did get the job, once I explained how my native culture was different.

Also, in college I was late for the work study job fair, so there was just one lone booth left hiring. They told me to report to the MRL building for an interview. I showed up at the building and the side was marked "Mental Retardation Library." The interviewer asked me if I had any problems with animal testing. I spent a few dumbstruck moments trying to figure out if they were doing bizzare experiements on mentally handicapped animals (and where I would fit into that) before I blurted out something along the lines of "as long as it's humane." Turns out they were experimenting with the effect of alcohol on rats' brains. I only did filing so I never actually saw the rats, but I had one enthusiastic graduate student show me photos of rat brains.

benbradley
05-03-2008, 07:46 AM
I don't recall the name of the company nor the president, but I remember its location (Norcross) and its business (it was one of THREE small companies I interviewed with in the Atlanta area that made microcomputer-based coin counters with onboard modems that were installed into pay telephones that called in to a main computer, so the pay phone company only had to send someone to collect the coins when the coinbox was actually full. With the advent of cheap cellphones, I imagine they're all three out of business if they didn't find some other area to make money in). I had an interview with the president - his office had a few knick-knacks in it: Some golf-related items, and a Bible. We talked a little about running the Peachtree (the big Atlanta 10k every July 4), and asked my time running it, which was really slow (hey, I've been slightly overweight most my life, and I had only quit smoking a few years earlier), and I think gave him a rather negative impression. But then he asked something like the following:

"I'm a Christian and I run this company by Christian principles, and I demand my employees follow Christian principles. So how about you?"

Siddow
05-03-2008, 08:01 AM
A woman walked into my restaurant, sat at the bar and said "give me a double scotch on the rocks and an application". I didn't have to ask her any impertinent questions, she already told me everything I needed to know. You know what file the application went into.

Richard


You can find so much material on these boards it overwhelms me. Please, somebody write a story using this introduction. Please. I'm instantly intrigued. I have to know more about this woman.

This is why I need to frequent OP more. It's a house of ideas.

I was 24, just came back to GA from CA with divorce papers on file and went down to the bar. Sat down down, the bartender asked, "What can I get ya?" and I said, "An application."

The house ROARED.

The manager approached me with an application in hand and said, "Sorry. I lost a bet with these guys and I'm supposed to ask out the next woman who walked in. But I can't really do that with someone who only came in looking for a job. So, can you start tomorrow?"

I did.

We were still trying to find that manager a date a year later when I left.

Autodidact
05-06-2008, 07:11 AM
Not so much a question, but when a Chiropractor started taking his pants off while interviewing me, 21 year old Sara ran out the door.
:scared:That's the creepiest thing ever!