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.
#1I 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)
Image credits: reddit.com
#2What 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.
Image credits: galedriel
#3They 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.
Image credits: wanderingwiccan
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.
#4"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.
Image credits: reddit.com
#5“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.
Image credits: dumb-funsies
#6Very 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
Image credits: Titaniumtank
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.
#7Lovers (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.
Image credits: batterymassacre
#8My 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.
Image credits: FrankieTheAlchemist
#9One 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.
Image credits: thorpeedo22
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.
#10My 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.
Image credits: CS1SOlO
#11Does 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
Image credits: Wide_Open_Colon
#12This 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.
Image credits: Sambasscles
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?
#13Interviewer: 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.
#14Had 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.
Image credits: Fightingthetears
#15Interviewer :- Do you know how to swim?
Me :- Umm, no?
Interviewer :- Get out.
(software engineer job)
Image credits: CRYTEK_T-REX
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.
#16First 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.
Image credits: maleorderbride
#17"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.
Image credits: GorillaonWheels
#18For 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.
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.
#19I was a private nanny. I have been asked many questions that wouldn't be considered appropriate in any other job interview. I've been asked: How often I shower. Whether I have ever been to a therapist/psychiatrist. If I am promiscuous. If I have ever had an affair with an employer. How much I typically eat in a day. Do I have a partner. What religion I am. Whether I was gay or straight. If I had ever been bribed or had anyone ever attempt to bribe me. Whether I had ever taken nude pictures. Etc. Not all in the same interview.
Image credits: The_Sadie_Jadie
#20A 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.
Image credits: iceagehero
#21"Are you pregnant?"
And after I said no
"Are you planning to get pregnant?"
Image credits: __checkmate
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.
#22"What does your father do for work?" I was like 24 years old...pretty sure he was seeing how little he could pay me.
Image credits: bananana-88
#23I 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.
Image credits: Swivel-Hips-Smith
#24"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.
#25"For confidential reasons I need to ask, how much porn do you watch on a weekly basis?" I didn't realise he was joking until he burst out laughing. Got hired tho
#26I was interviewing for a hiring manager position at a temp agency in Toledo, Ohio. The interviewer asked me "how comfortable would I be if business client only wanted to hire certain types of employees?" I probed for more information. After several probing questions it was apparent that some of the businesses who hired this agency to find talent only wanted people from certain zip codes and wanted to omit certain zip codes altogether. I did not get the job because I stated that I would find and deliver the most qualified candidate regardless of where they lived. No biggie. I am in a much better place now.
Image credits: TexasKoz
#27Would I be ok with going shirtless.
Small private casino company that mostly did charity fake money events with prizes like champagne and chocolates. Corporate gigs etc.
I was hired as a blackjack croupier and thats the job I went for, advertised as above. Corporate events and charity events, dealing blackjack. Must be good with people (if you knew me that would make your gut bust).
The woman interviewing me, gave me the job, then asked would I be willing to wear just collars and cuffs like a male stripper.
Turns out they also did stag and hen nights and would ask new employees if they'd like to be considered for those shifts. But it requires the women to wear bikinis and men to wear only collars and cuffs, no shirt but wearing dress pants. They paid twice the rate for it.
Was not expecting that question I can be honest.
Image credits: reddit.com
#28"If hired would you refrain from wearing deodorant or using scented soaps and shampoos?"
Apparently the company was owned by an Indian family that really didn't like the smell of all the scented personal hygiene products we use in the west.
That was the opening question. The rest of the interview was awkward because all I could smell was my deodorant and I began to worry I applied too much. Like it was me they didn't like the smell of specifically and the cultural thing was an excuse. So I just sort of sabotaged the interview by downplaying my experience, didn't ask any follow up questions, and got out of there.
Never heard back from them.
#29"If money is not an issue, what kind of car would you drive"
"If you where a car would you be a sports or an economy car"
That's when I walked out!
Oh and no the job had nothing to do with the auto industry.
#30Because I mentioned I was getting married soon she asked if I planned to have kids because it would interfere with the job. It was for hotel housekeeping... She also showed up an hour late to the interview and told me I had been late, scheduled 2 interviews for the same time, and suggested I was lying about a previous boss having cancer. I got a call back and never responded.
#31I was probably 21or 22, went for a interview in a real estate office as a receptionist. This dude pulls out a camera and asked can he take a picture to remember my face better. I have so many more incidents its sad.
#32"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"
Image credits: IRDragonBorne
#33I 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.
Image credits: mabbbbs
#34As a man being asked about a spouse:
Do you have a wife?
Well gay marriage is legal in this state, I assume you don't have a husband?
Image credits: ComplacentRadical
#35"Why do you talk like that?"
Umm, like what?
#3616 years old and interviewing with a 29 year old: "wow, you're almost perfect, just uh have any older sisters? Because that would be perfect!" No, Joe, I have no sisters for your predatory ass!
#37"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.
#38Phone interview: 'Do you think that you're smarter than other people here because you have a degree?'
'um no, of course not'
'Good answer, a lot of smart people here.'
I mean I get the idea of the question and maybe they didn't mean to word it like that, but I decided to decline a second interview. Didn't feel super comfortable after the first one, ended up with a great offer elsewhere after graduating anyway.
#39Have you ever had sex with a farm animal? Caught me off guard. Little older lady asked. I laughed. She didn't.
#40I 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.
Image credits: Thoreau80
#41"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.
#42The interviewer (m) reaches forward and grabs my (m) hand: “Do you have a girlfriend?”
I later found out that this was his “strategy” for making me “feel uncomfortable”, to see if I could “roll with it”.
I did get the job, didn’t report it then. Wish I had. This person turned out to be arrogant and rude in many ways.
#43What’s your religion?
#44Which would you rather deal with, one Karen-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized Karens?
#45Not a question, but my future boss made the observation: "I can tell you're not fashionable".
#46First thing out of the interviewer’s mouth during my first “real job” interview: “Tell us everything you know about ketchup.”
Interview was to be a student lawyer at a large national firm.
#47Hobby Lobby made me complete a math test during my interview
#48First 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.
#49“Listen I have nothing against hiring a chick for the job, but I can’t afford to have you go off on maternity leave, so are you planning on getting knocked up in the near future?”
Image credits: Dyingforsomelove
#50I was asked if I'd ever sent identifiable nudes in a job interview.
Image credits: ThrowRA8390398
#51"Your salary expectations are completely unrealistic - clearly you're overpaid, but we'll help you adapt when you join us!"
#52I was asked over the span of about five questions if I would let employees steal.
“What would you do if you saw a customer walk out the door with product?” “I would tell the manager and not confront them” (the correct answer for almost all retail companies, but not this one apparently)
“What if it was your store? ‘Gmony Retailers’ and you are the manager?” “I would try to stop them or call the cops”
“What if it was an employee trying to steal something really cheap like a $1 water bottle?” “I wouldn’t let them steal so I’d tell a manager”
“What if they have been having family troubles and their checks haven’t come in so they have no money but need that water” “I would offer to pay for them so they don’t feel like they have to steal”
“What if you left your wallet at home that day?”
What am I even supposed to say to that???
Image credits: Gmony5100
#53I 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!
#54I was the interviewer, and asked the candidate to tell me about a time that they had to have a difficult conversation with someone.
His answer? "Well, my friend's boyfriend was abusing her, so I told him that I would kick his ass if he didn't stop. He didn't stop, so I had to follow through and beat him up. It was hard, but I had to follow through on my commitment to helping my friend."
He did not get hired for the job working with children.
Image credits: michelleeh
#55i was in an interview for a college scholarship, not a job. i’m black, and was being interviewed by a panel of 4 white interviewers and one black interviewer. one of the white interviewers asked me “how was growing up with both parents?” the black interviewer and i immediately locked eyes and he gave me a knowing look. i don’t remember how i answered, but i got the scholarship!
Image credits: _thedevilyouknow
#56I was once asked about my religious upbringing in a job. I'm a teacher. The new principal was apparently a heavy born-again Christian-type. My friends who had recommended me for the position had not had similar questions with the previous principal and were completely shocked I was asked this question.
I am not religious and did not get the job.
Image credits: StuStuffedBunny
#57Straight up, guy sat down paused then looked at me and said, “a penguin with a sombrero walks into this room, what would you say?”
Me, confused as all hell, “why” End Of Interview
#58"Whats your life motto?"
Was a huge curveball.
They also told me they're a christian company. The whole interview was weird. They're a pretty popular breakfast and coffee roaster chain in my area.
#59If I'd prefer to get ice cream or a beer afterwards...
#60He asked me if I believed in bigfoot. That was the weirdest and yet least alarming thing discussed at my interview.
Image credits: CouchCandy
#61I was at a hiring fair, think speed dating for teachers. My last meeting was with a woman representing an all-girls boarding school. She started it out by insulting her administration and saying that they were useless which is why she was there. She proceeded to ask if I was gay, as that was the only way I was allowed to do certain jobs at the school.
#62I'm a ginger.
"Does the carpet match the drapes".
#63Not me, but my coworker and I worked in mental health. He was asked at an interview how he felt about relationships with clients (this was for an addictions clinic). He gave the response that he wouldn't consider it and that it would be unethical. Apparently, their response was that it's fine, that they had done so before, and "it felt like they were trying to convince" him that it was something he should do too. He didn't accept the job.
For myself it would probably be "Do you know who Tracy Chapman is? (me: yes) Do you watch Glee? (me: no) You're hired!" and "If you could have a superpower what would it be?"
#64I was the interviewer (F). I introduced myself to the person being interviewed, shook her hand, and then she said - wow, you must workout, your arms are so big.
She meant it as a compliment I think, but it was incredibly awkward and made me super self conscious. She bombed the interview and obviously lacked good discernment.
Pro tip - never comment on someone's body at a workplace, interview included.
#65Are you a mormon, and do you drink?
#66Will you take off your clothes now?
#67Are you going to grow your hair long and come in here and shoot up the place some day?
#68What’s up with your hair style ? Is what an interviewer once asked me . Glad he didn’t hire me wouldn’t have accepted anyway
#69Was in a job interview after college, I was asked whether I go to church and what my father does for a living.
I was also given a tour of the place, there was an area where 6 women had their heads down working on things who weren't looking up like they weren't allowed to. I noped the f*ck out of there so hard.
This was in the states btw. I was shocked
#70I was interviewing for a job that involved an expat gig in China. We had a detailed conversation about squat toilets and our dislike of them. I got the job, took it, and am good friends with miss squat toilet!
#71Was asked after the interview by the supervising manager, "If you want to work here you have to drop out of college since we would want you to work full time. Do you want to work or to finish your degree?"
I was applying for a part-time job for a call center company back when I was 18 in order to support myself.
#72"Are you the type of girl who's down to party?"
I was applying for an administrative assistant position. Dude showed up 30 minutes late to my interview, sweating his ass off (it was March), talking a mile a minute, and wearing sunglasses inside. It was a hard nope from me.
#73When he noticed "Military Service" the guy just goes "Oh cool, did you like, kill anyone?"
To be fair, it took him about 2 seconds to realize how f*cking dumb that was and he started apologizing. But still, like, what the f*ck lmao.
#74Do you have kids? Multiple interviews
#75Are you Catholic?
#76I was asked once what kind of animal I would be and why? I said a bear because I panicked and couldn't think of what to say. Don't know why a bear came to mind either. I researched it later and apparently you supposed to respond with some kind of animals that works in a group or something. So bear not a good answer.
#77I have a friend that does air traffic control, and has had many military and non military posts. He shares some of the strange questions he gets asked.
Things like, "How does the following make you feel?: (Insert random gibberish sentence here)
I told him they are probably activation phrases for sleeper agents. Just a hunch. He has never failed an interview, so he must be answering the questions correctly.
#78Went to dinner with a possible future boss after a pretty good interview. It was Asheville North Carolina in 2009. The guy says, "Yeah Asheville is nice but we got a lot of queers." Not sure what made him think I would be ok with that statement. He wasn't drunk. I decided to decline the job.
#79Not a job interview but during my green card interview there was some great questions. Got asked if I was a hooker, a nazi, a war criminal and several other things. I was moving to the USA from Canada
#80In my mid 20s, I was interviewed to be a door greeter at walmart, though I applied for midnight stock. They had a 3 person panel drill me like I was applying at the Pentagon. No crazy questions, just a bizarre feeling altogether. Thank god they didnt hire me.
#81I’m a teacher. I was asked if I do drugs. I don’t, been clean and sober for a while. The interviewer asks me again, a little louder, do you do drugs? No. well, he says, I can’t tell you the number of people that have sat there and say they don’t do drugs and then fail the drug test! I’m 50 years old. WTF. Pissed in the cup and passed.
#82'You have to be fine to work 12 hour shifts with one break of 30 minutes in the middle'
When I explained that that is literally illegal, they replied with 'but it's the industry standard.' C**t get f**ked
This was an interview from a government funded job agency btw, they almost definitely make commissions on finding jobs, so they don't care if you have a s**t job because then they get two commissions instead of one.
#83"What is your religion?"
Now, my country is fairly secular and it's illegal to ask that, but apparently there are companies that have an unwritten policy about not hiring Jehova's Witnesses because they usually end up asking for days off or don't even go to work in order to to go door to door preaching.
#84Not too bad but I was asked "Could you name a time in your life where you did something fast?" Who tf asks that?
#85I was asked if my breasts where real. We were talking about the uniform and my concerns over it not fitting. He said, well you should have thought of that. When I asked what he meant he said, "Wait, are your boobs real?"
#86This was for a volunteer internship position with some national park.
“We provide food but we mostly have vegetarians here. Are you ok with only eating vegetarian food all summer?”
In the same interview I was asked, “We allow alcohol in the staff living quarters but some of our interns have gone overboard in the past.....do you party?”
#87Whether the job pans out or not, would you be interested in getting a drink sometime?
#88Interviewer: "So, you smoke pot?"
Me: "Uhh, yeah."
I: "Sweet dude, let's get high and go to Subway, you're hired."
Me: "I... yeah, sweet!"
#89My ninth and final interview at a world-renowned investment bank. With the big boss.
I have flown in for the interview which is scheduled for 9am.
I arrive at 8:45 and am left waiting until 9:45.
Interviewer walks in. He says, verbatim, “Sorry I’m f**king late the f**king bastards in BAC kept me up for 15 f**king minutes.”
He throws my CV on the table. So hard the front page rips off the staple and flitters across the table.
He looks me square in the eye: “So ... who the fu*k are you again?”
#90My first job was at a big medical center, where I had worked part-time in a related department. I was being hired to work for Gary, and was being interviewed by Gary and his boss Neils as well as several other people. I was invited to a staff meeting just before the interview started. No one introduced me to anyone and must have figured I knew everyone and so I went through a day talking to all these people not sure who was who. Significantly, I mixed up Gary and Neils since Gary acted like the top man and was very dominating whereas Neils said hardly anything. Somehow I got hired and worked there for many years.
#91I once had a cold on the day of a phone interview at a speech therapist office. I started the call by apologizing that I was losing my voice and explained I had a cold. The interviewer, a speech therapist, asked me twice what was "wrong with my voice". The first time she asked, I repeated that I had a cold and asked if that was relevant to the interview. It was not, she assured me. The second time she asked, I told her thanks but I wasn't interested anymore.
#92I was told being "thick" and "a little gothy" would provide a lot of variety to the male clients, and I would make "tons" in tips.
#93Back in 2001, my potential employer asked: "What is the average air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
I now use it for my interview questions to potential employees.
#94I worked for a pharma-supply company of less than 20 people where a high percentage of employees had amusement park experience.
I was told by HR I was not allowed to ask the engineering interns "Do you have any theme park experience?"