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Interview notes - prepped.
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Interviews are anxiety-inducing affairs at the best of times. You can do all you want to prepare, but when the interviewer throws a curveball question your way no amount of prep can save you.
Here at Applied, we’re on a mission to make hiring fairer and more objective, which is why we’re bringing you this Interview Question Hall of Shame to shine a light on the ludicrous, irrelevant questions that interviewers still seem to think are perfectly okay.
We noticed that these rotten questions tend to fall within three board categories:
Brainteasers: These are the silly, and often completely impossible questions that are meant to test our mettle… but actually just test out patience.
Intrusive: Questions that cross the line, digging just a little too deep into our personal lives.
‘Get to know ya’: These are the non-work related, personality test questions, which although seemingly innocent, have no place in a fair interview.
So, without any further ado, let’s get stuck in!
“Who'd win in a fight, Batman or Superman?”
"How would you hide an elephant."
"If you were my boss, what would you say is my worse characteristic and what should I do to improve?"
“How many planes do you think are currently flying over the UK?”
“How many post boxes are there in the US?"
"Do you think you can outperform the other candidates here today?"
Eng Teck Tan
The Intrusive questions
"What was your previous salary?"
“Do you think your children are like a ball and chain that stop you from getting where you want to be?”
"How old are you' and 'do you have kids?"
"Are you going to have children?"
The ‘get to know ya’ questions
"Tell us about a TV show or movie you'd recommend to us"
"If you could be a vegetable what would you be and why?"
“What are you like in the pub?” and “if you were a biscuit, which one would you be (and why?)”
"What would you name your boat if you had one?"
"If you were a sandwich... what sandwich would you be?"
Want to know how to remove bias from your interviews and assess what actually matters? Check out our guide to smarter, fairer interviewing.