“Are you single?” and other odd interview requests

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Candidates are encouraged to ask questions in their interview to show their interest and knowledge, and to make sure the job would be a good fit. But while there might be no such thing as a stupid question, there are definitely stupid times to ask questions as illustrated by OfficeTeam’s latest survey of 650 US and Canadian HR managers.

Asked to recall the most surprising or unusual question they’d heard from a job candidate, the answers vary from “Do I have to be at work every day?” to “Would you go on a date with me?” Romantic inclinations seem most likely to push job seekers into asking odd questions with other highlights including:

  • "Is the boss single?"
  • "Do you have a job for my partner?"
  • "What are the women who work here like?"

Another candidate asked if their husband could finish a test for them (a quick-witted HR manager might ask whether the spouse would also be doing the job for them), while yet another seemed oddly distracted by the décor asking “What colour is the paint in this office?”

Time off was another popular topic, with candidates requesting midday naps, Tuesdays and birthdays off, and even “three weeks off every three months to pursue my music career.”

Other odd requests include:

  • "Can I place my desk near the cafeteria?"
  • "Could I get a pay advance?"
  • "Can you help me search for an apartment?"
  • "Can you help me with the employment test?"
  • "Can I set my own hours?"

And then there was the interviewee who was possibly in over their head: "What job is this for?"

What’s the strangest question you’ve been asked?