Women Share Weird Personal Questions They Were Asked During Job Interviews That Surely Are Not Relevant To The Position

by Rachel

Finally scoring a job interview can be a very nerve-wracking experience. From making sure that you are properly prepared, figuring out your talking points, ironing your shirts, and hyping yourself up for the position; there is a lot to work out.

For many of us, this means rehearsing and planning answers to the questions that we could be asked. You need to make sure that you should articulate, ready for the position, and also make them like your personality.

But for these women, however. It was not that simple.

Every woman you know has a story about being treated differently or inappropriate in the workplace; but how about during interviews?

"What strange personal questions have you been asked in a job interview that you don’t think they are asking male applicants?"

"Anyone else ever had this experience with weird personal questions? Just had an hour long interview with zero professional questions so I’m curious to know your experiences."

Posted by u/poxycabbage.

1. They are such invasive questions


All kinds of questions regarding my marriage status, if/when I plan to marry, if/when I plan to have children and how I would organize childcare for the hypothetical children.
All of those questions are illegal where I live, by the way, and I refused to answer them. I didn't get those jobs, in case that wasn't obvious.
I have also heard multiple people openly admit (outside of job interviews) that they don't like to hire women of a certain age (because ALL of them get pregnant and who has the money for that kind of hassle - we have a right to paid parental leave and a return to your previous position here) or mothers because they are unreliable and won't do overtime. Hiring men of the same age or fathers came with none of those concerns. But "I have to understand them. They need to make money. They don't have anything against women!".
The fun fact: I don't have or want children. I still get "punished" just for having the biological setup to do so.

2. May as well trick the system


So this isn't correct or proper but in an interview for a high ranking corporate job with a ton of travel I let it "slip" that children were NOT in my future.
I got that job! First woman in those ranks. I figured why not use my CF status to help me for once!



Exactly, I was asked if I was married when I was literally 15 years old applying to work at a grocery store lol.

4. ???


At 21, interviewing for medical school, this like 80 year old man asks me why I have two addresses listed. When I explained that one was my legal address but I was living with the other parent at the moment (mailing address) because I was working closer to their house. He asked me so many questions about my parents divorce despite me changing the subject several times, like that had anything to do with my ability to be a doctor. Then he asked me ethical questions and was an ass about every answer, telling me get aggressively how wrong my opinions were. I talked to one of the guys that interviewed with him the same day and they had a totally normal conversation based about his resume & application.
If you're wondering if the problem was in fact my application and not my gender, I'm now a physician and through training have been the team member voted to have difficult conversations with families.



“I see an engagement ring, do you want children soon because I advise you to wait at least a year if you get the job. I don’t think it is good to train you only for you to go on maternity leave”. Words spoken by a recruiter, highly illegal. Nothing I could do against him with zero proof.



"Do you have a boyfriend?", "Are you planing on getting pregnant?". In the same interview. It is illegal there to ask but its my word against them.
"As a woman do you think that you will be capable of doing the job?" "Will you be confortable in an all male team?" Another interview.

7. Based on this experience, probably not!


"Will you be confortable in an all male team?"
"Depends if they are all sexist pigs like you or if they're normal"



"Are you in a relationship?"
--"Yes, I have a partner."
"And that partner is....?"
--"...doing well, thank you."

9. 3am meeting??


I had a boss ask me if I had kids in an interview. I didn't at the time, and I told him so - and his response was basically "oh thank god, other female employee has children and we hate working around her childcare schedule."
I was desperate so I took the job, but he fired me a month later for not showing up for a 3 AM Zoom meeting.
I should have taken the red flag for what it was. So weird to ask if you have a family and then get excited when you don't...



I've definitely had the pregnancy/marriage, etc. questions, but I remember an interview I had with a random company while I was just searching for any job I could get because I needed a job, and the people who interviewed me were the owner of the company and the two women I would be working with. After getting through my skills, they asked me if I was okay with swearing, I said sure, then they asked me if I was a "snowflake, because a lot of young people are nowadays."
They also basically told me that, since I would be working with a lot of middle-aged and older men, I would just need to deal with some light sexual harassment and that they wouldn't be doing anything about it because "that's how it's always been."



Can you cook? Tell me how you’d make this sauce. Tell me the recipe of xyz....
I was interviewing for a software engineer role.
Thankfully I do cook and could tell him but wtf?



"Do you have any kids?"
"Your hair is so nice..."- then he reached out to feel my hair
"You speak really good for a Mexican girl"- (I was born in the US)
SMH. This was for a position at a long term care facility. I got offered the job a few days later, but I refused the position.

13. Reconciles well actually, BYE.


Lots of sneaky questions about when/if I want to start a family, how I plan to dress for the job (including if I planned to wear makeup?), what I would do if a male client hit on me, and my fave: whether or not I identified as a feminist and how I reconcile that with my career choice.
So frustrating.



Just interviewed this week at a small town library and was asked if I was actually married because I'm not wearing a wedding band (I had mentioned earlier in the interview that I relocated to the area because my spouse recently started a new job there). I just stared at the woman who asked the question until someone else said "This is an interview. You can't ask that."
The same woman asked for my social media handles because she wanted to look me up.



This was during an exit interview where I was leaving a traditional job to pursue something less traditional. My manager (M45) asked me what my parents thought about my decision, making sure that I had their permission to quit.
For the record, I am in my mid-thirties, well established in my field, and do not have any sort of financial dependence on my parents.
Completely surreal and condescending.



The weirdest:
Would you wear your hair straight? (let me note that I am white so this is not necessarily a racist comment towards me in that regard).
Questions about how I would dress coming to work (sort of relevant given the industry, but it wasn't a client/public-facing role, and there was heavy implication about needing to look "sexy")
irrelevant and nonsensical questions that have nothing to do with a job (if you were an animal/color which what you be, who would you want to play you in a movie). I suspect the male applicants weren't asked because of the way the questions were asked, and for the roles for which they were asked.
This is in addition to the often mentioned kids/relationship status ones (which by the way are illegal in every country I've ever lived)

17. so confused


They were hiring a "graphic designer". The maganer (he cold be my grandfather) asked if my bf was jelaous.

18. WHAT


“Did your dad pick your major?”

"Thanks for interviewing me but based on your horrible attitude I do not want to work here."


Were you asked an inappropriate question in a job interview? Tell us in the comments.

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