TAFEP Hero 2023 Oct
human resources online

10 questions candidates flat out refused to answer

Sometimes, hiring managers get it really wrong.

Despite numerous laws around discriminative hiring (and really, just basic common sense) there are still plenty of recruiters, or people within the HR function, who don't abide by the rules in a bid to find out whatever they can about job candidates.

In a Reddit thread, someone asked, "What question did you refuse to answer in a job interview?" and hundreds of people chimed in with their own experiences of interviews gone wrong.

From the rude, to the inappropriate, and sexist and illegal questions, here are some of the most appalling:

1. "Sadly, I have heard Baby Boomer-aged guys say they:

  • Like to hire women because they work harder and complain less
  • But not for any leadership, just as much grunt work as they can handle
  • And definitely not if they are in a relationship because they will "put it first".
"First Prize goes to a Financial Services CFO tho who once told me: 'Fat women make better employees because they have low self-esteem'."- via Mpls_Is_Rivendell  

2. "What's your zodiac sign? At first I thought it was a joke, but he went on to explain in detail that it was very important that all the signs of his employees were compatible with his to prevent drama in the workplace. Then he started telling me about his past lives. It was a weird interview."- via bedazzledwalrus

3. "What social media do I use? And that I would be required to 'friend' a member of the HR department. Nothing happened, there was a big trial going on at the time over employers right to spy on their employees online, so they didn't push it."- via Shadoe17

4. "'What church do you attend?' I told them I didn't really think it was relevant to doing the job. They thought otherwise."- via hells_cowbells

5. "'Why should we hire you, when you just got married and will probably be starting a family soon?' I initially refused to answer, but couldn't resist, by the end of the interview, telling them that I'd had my tubes tied for years and literally couldn't have kids."- via rhinecat 

6. "I got asked to write down my Facebook and Gmail password so they could look at them and deem me 'satisfactory'."- via iPostPoultryFacts

7. "I'm a girl and have a trade and have always worked with only men. Most interviews bring up the subject in a polite way, like situational questions asking what I would do if a coworker was bing sexist, etc.

"One particular interview with a company... the interviewer straight out asked if I have a boyfriend. I said no, more out of shock. He continued on to say that I'm very young and around the age where I will probably get pregnant. I just sat there and stared. He then asked me if I planned on getting pregnant because if so, they would not hire me. Every single question he asked was specifically about the fact that I'm a girl and there were no job related questions."- via eugeneugene

8. "Why a pretty girl like you look for a job? You should just find a rich guy and get married."- via hotdimsum

9. "'Why are you a muslim?' What type of question is that? I left the job interview."- via Flux-eon

10. "This guy asked me a bunch of word puns and riddles. I answered one thinking he was joking then asked him what the point was and he didn't know."- via effieokay

Image: Shutterstock

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Related topics

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window