Human Resources



Are you driving candidates away with these questions?

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Hiring managers have been reminded time and again of the importance of candidate experience. Yet some of them still can’t help themselves, and ask inappropriate questions that leave interviewees dumbfounded and offended.

In a post on Hong Kong Discussion Group, candidates shared stupid and insensible things they were asked by interviewers.

Extensive background check
1. Are you seeing anyone?
For companies that drive employees to do overtime like crazy, it is helpful to hire people who don’t have a family to go home to and, even better, are not in a serious relationship at all.

2. What do your parents do, and how old are they?
The boss wants to ensure they are not hiring the son or daughter of a competitor and, more importantly, the candidate is not a “rich second generation” who could care less about coming to work.

Asking rude questions
One netizen said an interviewer asked him if he has body odour. He responded calmly as follows: “You would have smelled it by now, even if I said no. If you have not yet smelled it, it means I don’t have it.”

Hosting a quiz contest 
It is common for interviewers to test candidates’ knowledge on current affairs, especially for government and journalist jobs. However, a candidate who interviewed for an assistant marketing manager position at a mainland-backed organisation said he was challenged by a barrage of questions including: “Please name president Xi Jing Ping’s wife”; “Please name the minister of defense of the People’s republic of China”; “Who won the Academy Award for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars?”; and “Please name three celebrities in Hong Kong and overseas who recently passed away.”

Giving an office tour
Another respondent to the post shared that a hiring manager asked him to attend the interview on a Saturday – a non-working day for the company.  The office was still under renovation and there was no place to sit and talk. Instead, the manager invited the candidate to have a look around the office and asked for his opinion on the decoration and the view.

ALSO READ: Interview questions Hong Kong candidates hate

Photo/ 123RF

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